i have a story about how books have always been the means by which information is delivered and now that means by which is being changed has shifted to cked al so itcauses and then . . know that it does and it has what what remains important is having access to that information knowing what questions to ask and knowing where to go to get the answer that we need to continue to ensure that as a community we not just survive but we also thrive and contribute. that is the work of the harlem book fair so thank you very much for joining us in that conversation of success. we are joined today by three very powerful when women to my
right is carol mackey, the editor-in-chief of the black expressions book club and the author of [inaudible] my goodness. to her right is the one and only zane. zane we know her work. i liked zane's work because i would have this book here and behind the book i would be reading zane. [laughter] she is what we call a brown dab author. we all know about zane's success. her work has been translated in many languages across the world, and for me that explains the recent growth in population across the world. to her right is charmaine
parker, the publishing director of strebor books and author of -- >> the next phase of flight. estimate what is interesting about these women is that they are both powerhouses in publishing but also authors so they know the park. and because of the digital shift , the understand the black books in particular are imperiled because we are market-driven and publishers really pay attention based on how many books we purchased. so when that switches over to digital or if it doesn't switchover quickly enough, something happens and usually it is a degree of loss of something either the books come to press or less money is available for
an author for their book emotions of that book does not break surface and the book doesn't sell into the author doesn't get published again. so it is a domino effect and it's a very exciting time is certainly is a time of change with digital technology. but we are in the middle of that. we are in the middle of that transition and these sastre women are going to talk about both their work as authors and what they see as the future of publishing. i didn't mention that zane is also the publisher of strebor books. as she began her publishing company at strebor books she has about 35 authors. >> no, more than 90. >> more than 90 authors that publish within her house now and she has a distribution relationship with simon and schuster. speaking of publishers i would like to take a moment to acknowledge penguin publishing
group, painewebber group usa. they are our premier sponsor. i have a particular fondness for pain when. they understand their mission is both for published in good works and also to support the reading audience in spite of the times said end they continue so think you penguin group. i will pass the microphone on to carroll and have a great conversation. sisters talking about tomorrow. thank you. [applause] thank you so much for that beautiful the introduction and also for the commentary on the industry. i think there was really important. first let me say it is a privilege and an honor to be sitting here with zane and charmaine. i've known zane for ten years since the very first book. i met her at bouck expo america
ten years ago. so, we have had a very long friendship and a long business relationship and i'm just blessed to see her evil as and author and now sitting on the panel talking about her as a publisher. so think you simon and schuster and max rodriguez for inviting me to be a part of this. the first question i would like to ask is for zane. let's take off your author hat as max said you are the author of so many books, so many "new york times" best sellers, so many things but you are most unique right now is that of the publisher so why don't you tell us how that began. did you say when i grow up i went to the publisher? because we know you were a writer. what was the impetus behind that? >> gerstein very pleased to be here.
what happened is i got self published not because i couldn't get a publishing deal. i actually was offered several publishing deal by major houses but all of them wanted me to change my riding style. i decided i wasn't going to do that because i never really sought out being published author so i wasn't that big of an issue for me. so i decided to self published my first book, my first three books and what happened was that i knew immediately went to the process because i have a business background and i took a lot of time studying how to do it how to market books and distribute them and i knew immediately if i did it i would publish other people as well at some point because i knew there had to be other writers in a similar situation there were good writers but didn't want to change what they were doing. so i started strebor books in june of 2009 but i spent up
until may -- i put out my first book in may at 2,000 followed by addicted in august of 2000 and what happened is in november that year "the new york times" ran an article that said it's the hottest people back in the country and people were addicted to trying to find a copy of it. so at that point i was already beginning to publish other people. we start of very small. i started out with only a handful of authors. and at the same time i started helping other self published authors deals with other people. we ended up doing -- we probably did media about six titles out or first year of the most to read our biggest year by 2005 we did 60 titles and what happened in september 2003i signed a distribution deal with simon and schuster but in june of 2005 they became a full-fledged imprint which we had been since that time and we had done
extremely well. actually 2011 was our most profitable year even in this climate and we still continue to publish a lot of books. >> that's great. i know about strebor. what would you consider a typical strebor title? what is your u.s. p or mission statement that you put your finger prints on this book and it has to have what? >> we get a lot of submissions first of all and a lot of them are similar stories and in many ways every story has already been told in one way or another. i look for it of being told in a very unique and ground-breaking way and that is really my overall mission is to bring the groundbreaking of books and authors to the forefront. we also have a mission to make career authors which we have.
my top author is up to but no. i think 17 or 18 but she's scheduled for like the 23 already and she's been writing full-time since 2007i read a lot of my own authors continues like this. i met allyson. i have a very diverse in print we publish all books people don't even realize, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies, religious titles, christian fiction, contemporary romance, detective mystery, science fiction, paranormal, the whole mind. this deck it is my whole as the
editor of chief of black expressions lacy every day that you submit and i appreciate it. why don't we turn this over to charmaine, who is your publishing director extraordinary. have you seen any trends since he became the publishing director like what kind of submissions are you getting and what would you like to see in terms of the genre that isn't being represented right now in the marketplace like what is your dream which list? >> i have seen a trend where there is more urban fiction than we originally started at strebor and as far as the missions are concerned, i think that we could find more christian fiction and used models, young adult novels. i feel children need to start reading at an early age as i did, and i think their needs to be more books on the market place for children were young
people. >> what books to you enjoy it personally? >> i like thrillers. we don't get a lot to lose but i like thrillers and contemporary romance the types that i'm drawn to mostly. as connect you have any plans to expand in those areas you to become christian fiction, young adults, children, are you going to expand in those areas or keep it more adult based? >> in 2013 we already have titles scheduled. one is called the unthinkable and it's about a young couple that was on the titanic and the next year we are publishing a book by a young lady that is only 17. it's titled families over everything and i think that will appeal to the young market as well. zane reminded me that jalal sterling which is also allyson hobbs writing under a different
name and its vampire. she is a trilogy. midnight craving was the first one, then or convert and her last one was the forbidden to east and they're all coming at between fall of 2012 and spring of 2013 they are going to come out probably three months apart i believe. >> you are and author yourself. the last phase of life which is a great book. how do you feel as a publisher and as an author. are you looking with different eyes as and author are you more seasoned in knowing what you are looking for? >> i feel i am more seasoned. for years i've been working with zane for ten years. she's actually my baby sister. some of you may know that. but i finally wrote my first novel the next phase of life and for ten years i had been saying the can bring to write this novel, i'm going to write this novel and finally i wrote down. i have a lot of respect for
authors because i always have respect for authors but i see now having written leona novel that they can be a challenge. it was a great learning experience for me and i tried to give you philip characters which is always something that we look for a great character development in our model and it's interesting because i started out working with zane about ten years ago. i have a newspaper background. i'm a former journalist and worked as a reporter, copyeditor , production editor, managing editor and i ended up joining zane when she was like itself published and she started out with a few authors and we worked together. she was always going out to ups and shipping books and we always got faxes from the major retail stores purchase orders just constantly slanted up joining her because i realized she needed help she was a one-woman show and that is how i got them involved in publishing and a
cost deeper and deeper and i was her senior editor and now my title since i've been with simon and schuster imprint since june of 2005 now my title as publishing director. it's a great experience writing my own awful and again i had a greater appreciation for authors skycam any submissions would you say you get a year? >> a billion. we have stacks of submissions as well as electronic submissions. so i would say probably in the higher when hundreds. it's a challenge reading through them. >> you said pretty much when you are looking for. what advice would you give somebody for things not to do when they are submitting to strebor? >> it's important to make sure that your letter is concise and it doesn't have any errors
because most of the time if you have errors in your cover letter we know there are going to be errors in the book and it's important also to have a really tight synopsis. we are looking for material that's different and out of the box because again there's a lot of competition out here and it's challenging to find manuscript's that we feel are a great perspective title. i would say also that very important thing is to make sure that your book your manuscript is edited because if it is plain to take a lot of time to edit your work and more than likely we will reject so it's important to hire an editor someone who can edit because a lot of times we hear about people that are great editors and then we get the submission and there's a lot of mistakes so definitely that's important to have your manuscript edited. >> so they should really make the investment in their work
which zane, i know you are a huge fan of people making that investment put the best foot forward because sometimes you only have one chance. >> synopsis to me is the most important things. we get letters where my name is spelled wrong. i can see past that. the thing that catches my attention or gets me to reject it is nine times out of ten synopsis. if i like the synopsis' then i will start reading it but if i start reading it like she said i have a number in my head if i get to a certain amount of pages and there's a certain amount of errors i do reject it not because i think the book is that the person that submitted it to me didn't take it seriously making the effort, and it concerns me will they be able to go from being a writer to being an author because those are two different things. >> yes they are. >> you said you wanted to see the submission. do you prefer to see the
manuscript because sometimes people can put together a really nice story of the story they want to tell but when you get to the actual writing it falls short so would you prefer to see the submission, the manuscript in itself -- and i know you get a lot of manuscripts, or the synopsis? >> the synopsis' again is the most important because we can't sit and read a bunch of many steps as fast as i read, can literally read four novels in the day. as fast as i read and i do it all the time believe it or not, as fast as i read i will not sit there and read a novel like sometimes she will send me something and i will ask her where is the synopsis and she will say i think this may be -- i think this may be a good book and i say is there a synopsis? that's the first thing i want to know before i sit there and read the entire book. we like the synopsis in the first three chapters then i will
have charmaine request a full manuscript. >> my next question is for you, zane. what have you learned as a publisher? i've said this many times. you wear many hats but as a publisher, what do you know now that you didn't know then? you then in publisher for years now. this is a learning experience. >> most people have the concept of what it takes to publish a book. it's an extreme amount of work just having the manuscript is the easy part. there are several editing phase as we go through. presales, sales come have to create presentations that are appealing to people with the cover design is important. a lot of authors want to be able to -- we give them some input on their coverage but a lot more like you know i don't like that cover seven minute rumsfeld in devotee has a fit over the cover and the book starts flying off the shelf then they are happy but there's a reason behind why
do what i do. i present the cover to the sales reps and they will make comments and go to the buyers of different stories over the years i've learned what appeals to people i would go to borders on a saturday afternoon and i would sit there for hours and i would watch people walk up to the shelves and see how they actually selected books. i would look at what books they picked up based on the sign and then they would look at the front cover and if it got their attention the would flock to the back cover and i would watch the process did they look inside the book and which books they actually took to the counter because it is more of a process than just writing a book. >> yes, it is. >> zane, do you manage your authors expectations, because
sometimes people's expectations are here. they want to be like zane, a "new york times" bestseller but they may not know exactly what in hell's to do that. how do you manage their expectations? >> some of them to have a lot of high expectations. others realize that it is a process that is going to take time. at the bottom line is that everybody is not going to be a "new york times" best selling author. there is no formula to becoming one. a lot of it is timing. a lot of it is the ability to find a niche market. a lot of it is just your personality and how you started and that sort of thing and a lot of people are not willing to make the sacrifice involved in doing that. now in my case what happened is i actually gave away my work for three years because i never had any instance in publishing the book. so for me i just enjoyed and loved the fact people enjoyed reading what i wrote so by the time i say the book is out already had a huge audience
because i gave my work away for free. a lot of people are not willing to do that. they come into this thinking and wondering how much money they can make the estimate what advice would you give to people that want to write a book for money? >> don't write at all. i'm just being honest. if that is your purpose is to try to begin in come with writing, then walk away from it. those of the store troup writers are passionate about what we do. and before i made a life of a and i would still right not making a dime from it and a lot of the stuff i have written has yet to be published. i write all the time to that i should tell you that i write all the time and won't even publish the stuff because i just love writing. >> that's awesome. i want to talk about your authors licht because like you said, yep 90 authors out there? >> 95. >> that's a ot. gura authors, god bless them,
have the privilege of having the name zane on their book. you personally endorse their book with an intro of what the book is about which is a big loss. but what would you say are the components for the authors especially new authors in marketing their book they don't have the zane name behind them, they don't have that branding. what advice would you give them or what components? >> i cannot stress the importance enough of the internet which is how i start. the other thing i want to say is i didn't do a book signing until 2004. i didn't do a book signing until my sixth or seventh but maybe in 2004 the first time i ever did a book signing all of my book sales were generated by becoming popular on the internet. now it is a hundred times easier to do that and when i started because when i started there was no my space, no facebook,
anything like that. you had to drive to your individual website. one problem lot of authors have is they go online and promote their book. that's all they do. they will come on one of my groups and just promote their books and say anything about themselves, don't engage in the conversation at all, just come say you should buy my book and the question is why should somebody buy your book. one thing i do with my authors when we do festivals or book fairs anything like that, the first thing i do when we get back to the office monday morning as i set my staff down and i ask them what did they think about so and so, this author, would you have bought a book from them? you can't sit their like a prima donna and adjust expect somebody to walk out and purchase your
book. that's not going to happen. one time we did a baltimore book festival on friday evening i got there and all of my authors were sitting behind these tables like this. when they cannot saturday morning all of the shares were gone to read all the tables were pushed to the back of the tent and i forced them to stand up and interact with people. that's the most important thing. if anybody goes on my facebook page, the thing i talk about the least is my book. there's a survey that has to 35 top west popular authors on facebook and i am the only african-american author on there and i'm number 12 and i read about j.k. rowling but rhode harry potter. but at the same time, i never talk about my book on my page. i may be do that once every six months maybe. so my whole point is if you get people -- and it's not like something i planned out. but i would just like to interact with people and if
people get drawn to you and learn to have some kind of connection to you then they will be curious about your luck and want to know what it is you would write about and that is another way that i found my authors like william frederick cooper. great example. i met two of my authors on the same day. they were both at a festival selling their self published books. and i could tell by just his seriousness that i wanted to read his book. with william frederick cooper, i asked him about his book and he was so passionate about it the way he described what he wrote it and everything i knew immediately that his book was going to be awesome and it was. so it really is important not to just go and try to sell your books to people because that isn't going to work with its online or not a book festival or anything like that. people have so many options of what they can read. you have to understand you may think you have the best book in the world, you honestly might
have the best book but somebody has to believe that and once the purchase it isn't going to sell. >> that's right. you would say -- and i love the idea you promote the discovery of the chairs and tables and to force them to go out there and network and connect with people and talk about their book which i think is so admirable. i would consider that an old school method of getting them out there to think like that. >> as i said before there's a huge difference in being a writer and an off track. when i write i rightly that might and i am completely alone and that kind of stuff and the author is a personality. you have to be able to get out and engage yourself with people and get them to know what it is you write about. and a lot of authors issues with that. they get nervous when it comes to people reading the book and to even discussing themselves were discussing their book. and i cannot stress that enough.
.. what is my my first step in becoming a brand? >> again a lot of what i just talked about, but it is getting people to relate to you, to u.s. a person and not your book. a lot of authors, they just want to promote that one book and then they wonder why they don't have a long-standing career. it needs to feed like now when i have books come out, one time ig was doing this at shuster, i was doing a book signing and a lot of people didn't realize it was there.ning a lot of women were running to catch the train and they saw a signwh that said jane. and they were like is this her latests book? i would say yeah. they didn't res about. they didn't read anything. they ran to the register and
paid for it. >> wow. >> that's what you have to go. it has to be, you know, about, you know, like a lot of times when somebody hears that, you know, john grisham or steven king has a book out. they see a book and go to the store and found out the title when they get there. they buy. same thing with music when kim or, you know, somebody chris brown puts out a new cd. half the time people don't know they know the name. they get it. >> they are loyal to the author or ashtist. that's true. let's adjust the conversation a little bit from traditional publishing and go digital. what challenges, you know, this is a very challenging environment. period. publishing right now especially black publishes. i know, this. it's very challenging. it what advice would you give authors in the digital environment? >> i think -- that's both of you. >> i think that digital
publishing is both a blessing and a curse, to be honest. we sell a lot of hard books. we sell a lots of books. 2012 was the greatest year. books are not out of business. thing that i do like about digital books is that traditionally even if you advertise book or tell someone about a book, they would have to have it on the mind long enough to be able to go to a store, even purchase it or go online and order it. with digital books, the good thing about it somebody is excited about they, they can get it and start reading right away. >> yes. >> i think that's a very, you know, positive thing because a lot of times people will mean to get something. and then they -- it drops off their radar. with digital books they can purchase it right away. there is ease of being able to get the book. >> one of the thing as an author
myself, my last statement i noticed that my digital sales outpaced my print sales. my hard cover sales. like my god, this is something else. >> this is an ease people say i heard about it. click. and dpsh. >> bottom line digital sales are book sales you may not have got phenomena they tried to find your book in the store and wait for it and pay shipping cost and that kind of stuff. i think it is beneficial to a lot of authors. it makes life easier. makes easier for people to become more popular. >> do you have a preference? of digital or ? i want to so you both that. it's a trick question. >> i read books. i still -- it's hard for me to read an e-book. i'm honest. >> me too. >> it could be because i do so much reading on the computer in my author's man scripts and stuff.
that might be something to do it. i like to be able to hold a book. i love the fact, you see people carrying a book on the plane and somebody say what is that you're reading? i think that's one of the things that is going to get lost. you know, the whole word of mouth thing is both going to be harder for that kind of stuff. you used to be see people holding a book and say i should check that out. that kind of thing. it sparks up a conversation between people. and that kind of stuff. i do hate the fact that that, you know, is lost. >> yeah. yeah. share main, what about you? >> i'm old fashioned too. i look the good old hard copy book. i have an extensive book collection. i have yet to read an e-book. but i am impressed with the fact that you can get it quickly like saddam she said. i wanted to share this story. i was on the train as a matter of fact i was coming back from the harlem book fair. a lie i did got on the train at the philadelphia stop and i told
her i was an author. and she asked what the name of the book was. she had kindle and downloaded it on the spot. didn't ask me what it was about. >> don't we all want that? >> i was like wow, that was nice of her. i told the name of it. she opened up and downloaded it immediately. >> that's what i'm saying. you get a lot of sales that way. if she had to write down the name of your bock and go home and order it and go to a bookstore and get it she may not have done it. >> exactly. i have people recently who said is your book available for e-book? i'll order it as soon as i get home. you don't have go to the stornlg and search or go online and wait for it to arrive to your home via shipping. that's one advantage of the e books. i like the old fashioned hard copy book which is we have a lot. on around our office. the ones we publish as well as other ones. >> all right.
i want to talk about books to film and movie and movie right about that. you have had some book? >> several. >> and i have a tv series. >> yes. the chronicle which was on hbo sin max. right. >> yes. very successful. >> i have new one. the most successful one. i have a new one called zane that premiers early 2013. i produced and completed. >> that's awesome. now, there are there any more authors who's books have been offered for films? >> yes. we have to see. it happens a lot. you have to wait and see what happens. >> yeah. why don't you talk about your journey with books to film process. >> i know how to do it. but the funny part is the way it happened with me was that everybody came to me. [laughter] it was kind of easy. >> yeah. >> but the key is to have
something that is very, very tightly written and to get in the right person's hands. i know, it sounds simple. it is the truth. it comes down to what people are looking for at the time. that's the same thing in publishing. a lot of times when we project book we're do good books it miect be because we have something on the slate already that is very similar. i do believe in i did diverse fying. i don't publish two books within a month or season. i want each author to have the best chance possible. >> that's great. >> we're doing a book on autism next year. i don't want do another book on autism. i know, the buyers in different stores say you already have this one really book. i don't want to harm an author's chance of book sales. >> absolutely. >> okay. tell me what's next with stray boar? >> you can answer that. [laughter] go ahead. >> well we will continue.
we're not going to out of business. i already a book slated well into mid 2014. we have a full slate for 2013 we're doing at least three books a month. at least. some we have five books. even though it is harder now for a lot of african-american books to be published, the beauty of my inimprint it is mine. i have not slowed down with publishing books or picking up authors. i have no intention. i was going to mention we have a lot of new authors. that's exciting. 2013 we have a lot of new authors. it will be the first novel we're publishing. that's always exciting. >> we're doing more non-fiction. >> talk about the non-fiction. >> okay. one that we're doing is i'm not sure i have a title right. but it's are ray mown i was writing a book. she was michael jackson's public cyst and manager.
for thirty years. we're publishing her book. that'll be coming out in june of next year. the autism book is written by a father and -- in south carolina and he is writing about his journal any with his son. his son is now in high school. and it's all about raising a child with autism. those are the two that we're doing. >> we're also doing a relationship book by keith called "make it last forever; the dos and don'ts." i'm doing a another non-fiction book, i'm -- non-fiction publisher. i'm doing another book "mother hood diaries" that. comes out in may. she is a hoot. she is so funny. i can't wait to read that. absolutely. do you have anything to say to the audience before we open it up to questions? >> i'm fine. i disobt want to start.
>> i wanted to mention more on the covers. the coffers are extremely important. we are important have a great designer who is a photographer and a graphic designer. and just recently we received the e-mail that said, the sales rep for one of the major clubs, you know, like costco, sames et. cetera is doing a presentation shortly they not only want to see that, they already had it for the title for next spring, they want to see the covers. that's what i said wow, it happened this week. the covers are extremely important. in order to do it presentation, i guess the clubs want to see the covers first. not what the book is about. i wanted to mention that. >> i'm sorry. >> i want to say one last thing in with regard to the disij tal side. one other advantage that happens with that since we've been doing digital books with sales reps and book buyers. them being able to have the book digitally to promote has been
helping a lot of sales. as where as before if they had to print something out or try to read it or that kind of stuff. more of them are reading the books, actually. and getting more passionate about them and selling more. or the buyers are purchasing more. it had a huge effect. we a mass mathematic book couple. it came out in 2002. and we decided to do it as a mass market sales were huge. and i think that the difference was that people actually the sales reps and buyers started reading it electronically and got caught up in it. and, i mean, everybody was shocked. we were all shocked. we were shockedded at numbers for the book. original trade came out in 2002, we just put the mass market out this year. everybody was blown away because the book was ten years old. i decided to put out a mass
market and it was crazy. >> that's create. do you think that the digital -- i forget to ask you both this. the digital publishing will blur the rain lines in terms of racial. do you think it will level the playing field for black books the e-books. this is no coffer, there is no . >> there normally is a cover. >> online. do you think they nonblack people would be more apt to read a black book if it is on an e-book tidily presented and not in your face on a subway station. >> i never thought about that. for me, i guess because i have a cross audience ?ea. i haven't thought about that. it's a possibility it could happen. >> make it more open. >> caller: all the sly will. >> do you think a cover can kill a book? >> yes. i think so. i had that experience. we had that experience. one author was adamant about a
certain cover and then when the book came out, the sales were low. we feel that in one case she changed a cover from the original cover and put back out and the sales were better. but as a matter of fact i had the same situation with another author with a book that is coming out in the fall. she wanted adamant wanted a certain cover. i read it and said the cover doesn't have anything to do with the book. and it's not going to draw an older audience who is seeking for the bock. i think you ought to go with the original cover design. and he said, i'm going do that. hopefully it's coming out and i feel that it's going to pick up more people are going to pick up the book now. because of the cover. >> i agree. >> you guys have the last word on the cover? >> yes. >> all publishers have. >> i did with that one. i explained he said okay. i understand. >> yes. that's what about to say i stepped stepped in and said no. >> protocol is publish is i had
it the own book they sent me j peck of different covers. they were blessed. i looked and said that's the cover. first thing they presented. they nailed. it it was perfect. it was good. sometimes authors say i don't like the cover. but they don't understand it's a business decision. >> exactly. it. >> you have to sell books. it's not about i don't like blue on my book, jacket on the will i did has on too many clothe. >> there is a reason behind the covers we publish. >> i have the final say. >> yes. >> well, it's been a pleasure chatting with you ladies. we're going open the floor to questions from the audience. >> okay. >> so -- will you manage that? is you can line up right there. [applause] i guess you can line up right there on the side. >> right here? >> okay. >> my name is [inaudible]
and e self-published a book. i've been shopping around new york and new jersey and connecticut with book. the book i'm trying to find a best way to market the book. it is connected generation of 1960s rites riots into the present time. it deals with love and many different characters. i have one character the name is -- [inaudible] she's a sister. she talks in temples of young black girls to love themselves. i another character who is shown as character. and that's a character of the '60s and '70s. i have other characters that deal with generations dead. [inaudible] i talk about hip-hop and terms of black people from the 1960s and present time. i'm trying to find the best way for me to market my book and go about it. i've been traveling around and trying to get the best expertise on how to market my book? >> well, just by the description
of your book. i guess my first question is have you personally sent the book anybody who was big in hip-hop or is big in hip-hop? >> it deals with hip-hop and is genocide hip-hop it is a fusion of different music. it's a black force period. the first chapter talks about the new york riots of the 1960s. '67 it goes into aftermath of the new york riots. the third chapter is about something that continues on. it's not just about the music. it's in terms in black people of whole. hip-hop is not adjust music. it deals with culture. africa et. cetera. i'm not just dealing with the music. when i say hip-hop, i mean, black people. we are the original people. so talking in terms who we are. not just in music as the culture. it deals with love.
my passion is so dedicated to the book and i've been traveling around. my main thing i'm trying to get the best way. >> it's not just about hip-hop. >> i would suggest that you try to find some different places where you can possibly speak about it. what i get is your passionate about it. and that kind of stuff and all i can say is process you seem to be doing all of the right things. what you have to realize is a lot of writers don't seem to realize. it is going take time. i would never give up. one thing, if you have a dream, never give up on it. you never know, there are some of the biggest campaigns like twitter was a long time before it got popular. people don't realize that. it's something called the tipping point. it became a household name. i would not give up on what you're doing. keep going and eventually, you know, the right person on the right thing will happen and that's my suggestion. >> thank you so much.
>> you're welcome. >> also, use every networking possible. your friends, your family, everybody. everybody tell everybody that you can. you know, show up in fraternity meetings. show up at verity. hit as many places as you can. a lot of times books are a word of mouth. i read the great book by what's your name? [inaudible] >> there you go. paul. >> i've been traveling at the book signs. i went to a bookstore. traveling to holland, brooke brooklyn. it's doing well. grued god is great to me. i wanted to get your advice. >> try to the nontraditional means. not the usual way. not got outside of the box a little bit and ask and pray and ask god to lead you. that's what i would do. >> like i said, i push --
published a book by a young author. what's he's doing, he actually is a spoken word artist as well. his book is about a rap artist who ends up being finds himself back in slavery times and realizes how degrading he has been in the music. his book just came out? month, it came out in june. >> late june. >> who he's been doing is a lot of church conferences and selling hurnldz of book. he e-mailed me and said he sold 107 books. >> she's based in d.c. like you he traveled to new jersey to a church conference. that's where he sold over 100 books. >> he did a church conference in orlando. he's doing church conferences. you tholed it's not a place you would sell a book about rapper. he's been selding hundreds of bocks. >> that's a nontraditional , i mean. >> thank you so much. appreciate the time. >> you're welcome.
hello. i'm [inaudible] editor of biographer and i also published the news letter. i would like you to comment about the opera winfrey book club. i buy books from "the new york times" best selling list but i also buy books from the opera winfrey book club. i was wondering how was her book club competing with the new york city thymes what "times" -- what do you have to say about anybody who has a brain could start great book list and be popular, be famous, be a celebrity? [laughter] >> carol runs a book club. i'll let her take it. >> opera's book club, i think is great. i, as the editor in chief of black expressions look club which is the largest black in the nation.
i've seen a lot of, you know, there is a need for a book club. our book club does cater to african-americans only. and we don't -- i don't look for "new york times" people that's not the list that i'm, you know, seeking in submissions i'm getting. all of my authors are african-american. but i think there's a great need for more book clubs. more out there, the better. and reading group is different than a book club. reading books are going on girl, and sisters, you know, reading. >> carol is being modist. because the books that she takes black expression, i think carol has been very responsible, greatly responsible for a lot of african-americans who have made the nighttimes list because -- "new york timesbook" she promotes the books to hundreds of thousand of african-american readerses a one time. she's being modest. by her doing that, and promoting
someone's book to that many people at one time who are dedicated readers enough to even join a book club is massive when it comes to those authors turning around and making "the new york times" list as well. so i didn't want her to shy it down. >> thank you for that. thank you. >> thank you. hi. i want to say first of all my name is teresa. the message is a question for carol. i don't know if you recognize my voice. does it sound familiar? >> yes. >> how are you and. >> okay. my sister's your college buddy. and, you know, that's . >> yes. >> i have to show you the pictures and everything. i met her when i came in. the comment you made about interesting meeting people. how you meet people at different places. hopefully my connections with carol about connections and networking and now i met zane and her sister and i introduced
myself and my sister knew you and said hello. said that because my question remits to is there a need about for educators who write -- [inaudible] behind me is an educator. there a niche for educators and their writing for non-fiction bocks? that's my questions for anyone on the panel. >> i can able that. i have taken that several books into black expressions that i thought were awesome books. i thought they. and that believes in my heart they were. and they were god for the master. unfortunately our club was so fiction-based that they didn't do as well as i thought they would do. but there's deafnlt need. you are the frontlines every day. helps us raise your kids, you know, in terms of education and things like that. and you play very important role in their life. i think you should don't write bocks. definitely get them out there. >> i would like to say that there's a market for it.
actually our parents are retired educators. and my father who is retired phd. professor has 14 books that are published worldwide. that are non-fiction. and there is a knee for it. his books involve a certain -- publishers specialize in that stuff. they give him grants and everything like that to have research assistance. i was one for one boom. i know, it for a fact. they give grants depend on what it is. certain topics they will give you, you know, extensive grants to be able to take the time to write that book and have people to help you with the everything. >> that goes to back to my second question. would you recommend for a non-fiction educator to pursue a trade, or an academic press? >> academic. >> academic. and there are many other. >> yes.
>> okay. thank you very much. i want to show you the pictures to carol later. >> thank you. >> good afternoon. one question. i think this is probably the more to the publishers, how important is it for an author to develop a movement before or during they're writing a book. i see a lot of authors all they want to do is write the book then they scramble to build a fan base. it's kind of like putting a cart before the horse because a lot of them, and i think zane can attest to this. most of them hate marketing. so how do you convince them to a build movement while they're writing a book? >> i don't think most authors hate marketing. i think a lot of them don't unction -- understand it. or don't know exactly what do do when it comes to marketing their book. it comes from doing research and
successfully clues and following what other people have done and all that kind of stuff. to answer your core question, it is crucial for people to build an audience before a book ever comes out. when i say an awe yens, i don't mean, you know, saying i had the book coming out. i have the book coming out. i'm saying getting involved in different discussions and groups and, you know, all of that kind of thing. it is very important to do that. i can't stress that enough, actually. >> is it more crucial in a fiction genre versus non-fiction or the same? >> i'd say non-fiction. i can speak to that. you have to -- usually with the non-fiction bock. you have a platform. so you build on that platform even before you write the book. for example, my book is about -- book of devotions for christian women in the workplace. it chronicals all my things how god used many my workplace.
challenge to. i not only told about the stuff that made me proud, but the stuff i wasn't so proud of. so i had already a platform and that was my plat tomorrow. when the book came out, there were a lot of speaking engagements and a lot of things. i spoke on tweeted and things and put things on facebook and tings like that. it opened up a lot of discussion. it's like i hate my boss too. raise your hand. >> yeah. i would agree with that. it for non-fiction books you're generally tabling a specific title people will be related to in order for them to buy the bock. so as a non-fiction title, it is very important to be able to speak about that, through transparency and go to different things and do speaking engagements. that's where most non-fiction authors sell their books. by doing some type of discussion and people purchasing the book
afterwards. with fiction it's more what form of escape is someone looking for. because they know it's fiction. you know. yeah. >> and i've had one case of friend of mine who wrote a book that involved police activity. so i told him, listen, go to the precincts, you know, some of the brothers that, you know, are cops talk to them. see if you can get speaking engagements. even though it's a fiction bock. it is something that will resonate with cops. you know, what i mean? you have to think out of the box. that's i'm trying to say. >> that's true. with my book, "breaking the cycle" about dmies domestic violence when i put the book out. i had a list of resources for women domestic violence agencies, and the back of the book and the first thing i did was send them a copy of the book. that bock end up naacp award. it is used many many women's prison and a lot of domestic violence centers and that kind of but for me that was my whole
purpose in doing it. even though it was fiction it was my purpose to be doing it. a wakeful call that hopefully convince some people to pull themselves out that have situation. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. my name is don, first of all, i'd like to welcome you and thank you for coming to speak to us today. my question is, you spoken to the difference between a writer and author. you said that being an author is a personality. my question is, is that something inherit in a person or is there a process crosses that boundary from becoming a writer to becoming an author? >> i think that some people would have an issue with being an author in publish. because a lot of people -- there are a lot of people who write and don't want to be in public. for me it was a privacy issue never because i was shy or anything like that. but i didn't do it at first
because i write under a pen name and i'm private with my real life. if you answer your question, no, i don't believe anybody can write a book and everybody can be an author and be able to go out and encourage people to pursue their work. .. signings they were total opposite personalities. she had a friend who would persuade people to come over and purchase the book and network. she told me seeing -- she was so shy so that was her way dealing with a. >> i would say 100%, the authors with the biggest personalities would sell the most books. the ones that run up --
will not run up. the ones who spark up a conversation particularly my male authors. you know, the ones that introduce themselves. they sell out all the time. >> the same ones she is talking about, they always stand out. r t a book signing. >> fenty for your time. >> you're welcome. >> good afternoon. my name is tom mitchelson coming and i am a writer and author i guess. i am a poet and playwright. question about audio books, and for you as a publisher, what do
you think about that genre? i have a play that we are getting ready to do an audio version of. is there a market for that? >> the market for audio books is not as strong. obviously as hard-cover books. but there is a market for it. i think i have six audio books of myself. they do sell. but in your case of something like that it would just be about, again, marketing and seeing how well it does. i know some authors that have sold tens of millions of books but the audio numbers are low. >> if you get a manuscript you have to send a hard copy or e-mail copy? >> we need both charmaine would be able to tell you afterwards.
>> anybody else that has any last minute, take one last question. >> two ..i with a whole different shot of books i don't think you had liked clubs you could go to market the book as you just mentioned with the book of silence or a silence within the black community. so how did you start marketing that book. i never intended on marketing or putting out a book. what happened with me as i started writing short stories over the internet in 1997 and then of rumor got started that i
had an actual look out that people were going to bookstores looking for it and that kind of stuff and that is when the publishers started contacting me. then i finally -- because my background was in sales and marketing i did a test on my website. and i said for $10 i will send you ten of my short stories shipping and handling and i literally was spending all day in the coffee center trying to copy stuff and at bat time i realized i could sell a book and i still waited because i still wanted to learn the business distribution, who were the biggest distributors, all that kind of stuff and i took the time to figure all of that out. so, what happened with me is by the time i actually put a book out the distributors were already looking for it. so i couldn't even print books fast enough. but to answer your question i think what you are saying is you just really -- i can't tell it depends what your book is about. i can't tell each individual
person what they should do without knowing details of who they are. to be able to talk about the books we actually three months. my actual publicity team is simon and schuster three months before their book comes out and discuss and develop the natural promotion publicity claims for the look. >> i'm excited to be at this book festival. i heard about you, mrs. zane and i heard about the chronicle's which i never read. so, my curiosity today has need to want to ask what was your inspiration toward that book and the details of which you went
into that inspired the book that wasn't intentionally set was to be a book. i never chose that genre. i'm just a very detailed writer when it comes to every aspect of the book including that one. it is i put a lot of women were very confused about their sexuality and i knew there was a need for it and still a lot of people don't realize that for the past 15 years i've actually been answering advice e-mails from women around the world. it had been in an advice columnist for edni before and so mitral background in all of this was initially just my compassion towards other women and that is still my greatest purpose in life is my compassion towards other women and what they are dealing with in all aspects of their life. they have nothing to do with such quality. it's relationships, the things they are going through and
dealing with. >> thank you. i just want you to know that my friends are the reason i'm here today she has inspired me to read your book and i'm going to. >> read all 27 of them. [laughter] i promote myself too. >> o.k. everybody, thank you for coming. [applause] >> book tv has covered the 2012 harlem book fair will continue shortly with a panel on education. >> book tv has over 150,000 twitter followers. follow book tv on infringer to get publishing news, scheduling
updates, author information and talk directly with authors during our live programming. twitter.com/book tv. >> there is a new exhibit the library of congress and it's called books that saved america. book tv is taking a tour of the exhibit and joining us is roberta schaefer, associate librarian for the library of congress. why do you call what books that shaped america? >> we call it a book that shape dominica as opposed to some of the other words we considered like change america because books slowly have an impact on american society. shaped seemed to be the better word to imply that kind of competition. >> when you think of the word shaped what book in this exhibit comes to mind? >> that is the fabulous part of this exhibit is no one book is shaping america. so many books have had such a
profound influence on american culture and society and indeed the very essence of what america is. but it would be impossible, and it really would be in a proper to take one book from the 88 that are here. >> the exhibit starts out with common sense. >> it does although their earliest book is actually been franklin's book on electricity that 1751. so, we have to books about common sense. one is dr. stocks book on raising your child in a common sense way and of course thomas paine's book that sparked the revolution. >> when you see these books are these all first editions and rare? >> they are not first editions although we have many books in the collection and our library of congress collection that would be first editions and very rare if not one of the kind. but the collective books with a
variety of reasons. some of them have descriptions by other famous people are by the authors themselves. two books in the collection that i just adore our books that are part of the armed services book outreach to people that are serving in the military. and so we have two examples of books we should say i believe now they are to leave that the war front on ipod and other things at least in the olden days. >> i believe one of them as tarzan and i'm trying to think with the other one is. but my goodness. it's been a while you think of that in this exhibit, roberta, a lot of novels. >> yes and novels are a critical part of american culture. not only spy novels that people read the common people read that some very high brow complex models. some models that appeal to people all ages.
some children's books that appeal to people all ages, so charlotte's web, limited to the audience to the islamic gone with the wind is here as well but how do those shape america? >> many of them identified who we were becoming were the aspirations we had as a nation. others told about experiences that we had uniquely as americans as the diaries of lewis and clark. many others to find our dialect. huckleberry finn. talk in dialect and so the shape not only our ideas but how we speak today. >> you also have some social cultural books i want to ask about such as you mentioned dr. spock. there's a couple books in this collection coming and the book called the big book alcoholics
anonymous. >> we thought it was important to look at non-fiction and books that either were self-help or kind of book barriers of certain kinds. so we looked across the broad spectrum of the books that shaped america. we didn't want to limit ourselves to a particular genre or a particular kind of book or even a certain kind of author work writing style. we looked for many books that were innovative that kind of showed america as an innovative country as a country that looked for practical solutions that share her experience as broadly. but new books and stories to inspire going into the frontier. that could be literally. >> hear the library of congress you are in charge of the process. >> that's an interesting question. it was defense the very large kennedy with a transfer which i think is interesting.
we had a number of discussions as people brought forth titles. so we better not. it wasn't always all that difficult to select these books because i think as you have implied, this is not a definitive list. there is no article that shaped america in the title of this exhibition so we really decided that what we wanted to do is choose books the would get america talking about books. and that was not as difficult to find consensus on as may be choosing the 50 books or the 100 books so we didn't need a chair person. >> some of the books have created social movements. upton sinclair, rachel carson. >> i think one of the interesting things about many of the books are that they not only created a social movements but some even lead to legislation so we see the jungle in here
created the forerunner of legislation to the food nd drug administration being created so not only the social movements that actually legislation, social change. >> y eda? >> 88 is where we decided to stop. we were worried about using a number that is commonly associated with a definitive list. so we avoided ten, 25 and 100. beyond that it was kind of up for grabs and when we got to 88 we said we think that is a good number. it won't give anybody the impression that we mean this is the 88. poetry, religious books. are they in here? >> we have quite a few extent lars of poetry running in the span of the century's. we have walt whitman, allen ginsberg. so we tried to be very clear about poetry but it's been an impressive part of america's
history, and americans have been very candid to both writing and reading poetry and i think that continues today. >> what about religious? >> we do have a holographic bible. a lot of the books while they wouldn't necessarily be associated with a remission have a holistic or a kind of do good tone to them and they felt that is more representative of america than our values than would be a particular largest book. so we try to look at the value of america. her spiritual sort of persona rather than looking at a particular religious books. >> roberta how did you get your start here at the library of congress? >> my goodness i started over 30 years ago as the first special assistant fresh out of law school. i absolutely fell in love with the library of congress, and 30
plus years ago has today you cannot keep me away to a i ron to work every morning and i think that working here and being here surrounded by manuscript's, musical scores, movies, the whole gamut of what really is knowledge in america is such a thrill and a privilege you are going to have trouble. stomach's this open to the public and how long? >> it's entirely open to the public pity there will be open through the end of september. but let's say you can't come to washington. we have a virtual version of our exhibit on the web site, and part of this exhibit, part of this conversation it's an open website to comment on the books that we selected but also to tell us why something which elected shouldn't be on the list
and even more important why something you think should be on the list should be added to the list and we want to hear from you. so far we've heard from over 5,000 people. and we encourage everybody to go to our web site, www.loc.gov/bookfest and you'll find a list of the books and you will also find the opportunity to compete a very brief form telling us what you think of the book and what should be on a. >> robert of the last book you have on here was published in 2010. >> yes, we kind of decided to put a cut off on it. we thought if we are really going to be looking at the books that shaped america we have to give them an opportunity, give them an opportunity to prove their work in shaping america. so this is an organic endeavor by the library of congress. we intend to keep looking at books that keep shaping america. but we thought about a decade that is a good place to stop.
since we are in a 2012 now let's stop 22 and we will keep revisiting it. >> one of the later books you have in here then went on 1987 and cesar chavez triet >> yes, they are coming and the book had a huge influence we talked about earlier on aids research and sort of raising our consciousness about that terrible disease and cesar chavez is a leading voice, of farm workers but a leading voice of america. >> so, these books in the exhibit, were the best sellers in their times? >> many of them are best sellers and many of them continued to be yet they have not gone out of print so even though that wasn't a specific criteria and many of them translated and carried american ideals across the world. >> i want to ask about another specific book and that is dickinson. >> of course emily dickinson is a must have american poet the
particular book that we have here in the show is an art book done by cooperative in cuba, and if they had reproduced the book of poetry and they have also made a little tree and it is made out of recycled material. emily dickinson of course is a phenomenal poet but we really didn't know about her or discover her until the mid 1950's when we finally were able to see her poems. >> who was doing the editing? >> those professional editors like to take their pen and need to conform. so for emily as well as all people that was an awful construction. >> roberta, as is yet at the library of congress. books have shaped america is the name of the exhibit, library of congress is located at first independent avenue in washington, d.c. right across
from the nation's capital. >> now you've seen the exhibit books that shaped america. if you would like to join a chat room and talk with roberta schaefer about these books and give your input on what books you think should be included e-mail us at book email@example.com. it's been a quitter you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> inventor of information theory and also recent books about clive shannon, which is called the information by george fais in on turning and clyde shannon is a great figure from mit who i've been following for decades and my technology
bureau. i've studied telephone and internet and this required me to master information theory. and i discovered that the information theory is perfectly aligned to the capitol economics and gives a better way of explaining capitalism than the existing models that are based on false indication of the determinist physical theory. capitalism isn't a material system. it is an information system. and just as the key measure of information under claude shannon's peery is news or unexpected bets were a surprise,
it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 175th celebration for the wonderful little brown company print. it is the great 175 years of great authors, a great books and great publishing is something special and i hope you all are enjoying the party so far. it's great that this evening we are -- we have in the room joined by our bookselling partners by the agency and media and publicists to help spread the great world of books. and we also have in the room
colleagues from past and present there are committed and a creative people. what leads us off tonight is the joy of storytelling and a great riding, and i think little brown absolutely exemplifies the very top of publishing, and its lead by michael p. edge -- [applause] who will now continue. >> hello. thank you for being here tonight it was 1837 when the look
sellers started to think there was more to life. nearly two centuries later in this wonderful dance we all do together publishers, writers, literary agents, booksellers, producers, bloggers, librarians all working towards putting money into the hands of the leader. 175 years mouton to the succession by a family and its employees and time warner and now the second-largest book enterprising in the world. the publishing company in essence involving a group of writers and people interested by
the writers in the world. i want to thank you all for the writers that entrust their books to us and the company wouldn't have made it past the civil war much less 2012. many of them are here tonight. [applause] michael connolly is your [inaudible] and perhaps others like mentioned. what joy, with extraordinary admiration and gratitude we have for them. i want to thank the people for
this happy moment. they saw the company's with the determination and style. he's worked beside the amendment large and small for nearly two decades. david has been the great ceo after four years running in the u.k. he has a standard of leadership in the modern publishing encountered and the extraordinary ceo introduced this as a pleasant part of the worldwide publishing enterprise especially as the business becomes more international every moment. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] good afternoon. i'm the president of clark atlanta university, which is about the only independent graduate research institution in the united states of america. that is a part of the historical black colleges and university community. what we're here to talk about today there is a major crisis in america, one more damaging than even the nation's daunting economic landscape. the american education system has failed young people of color. african-american males in particular. the evidence is somewhat overwhelming. only 55% of all black students graduate from high school on time with a regular diploma.
on average, african-american twelfth grade students read at approximately the same grade level as white eighth graders and the twelfth grade were lower than significantly lower than any other racial and ethnic group. in march 2007 editorial, phillip jackson from chicago's black star project. there was no longer a need for dire predictses, apprehension about losings a generation of black boys. it is too late. a generation in education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, and parents we have lost a generation of young black males. they have the worst grades, the lowest test scores and the highest dropout rates of all students in the country. data goes on and on as we have heard and recounted and talk
about oprah winfrey the -- past how many years. young men of color charted away from educational success sites among the finding 65 percent of all males incarcerated in the united states are african-american or hispanic. penn state center for the study of race and equity in education officer an equally dismall snapshot in the college achievement study. if 2002 black men comprised only 4.23% of students enrolled of institutions of higher education. the same percentage that we had in 176. the shock foundation in 2010 reported that in 2008, 47% of black male students greated from u.s. high school on time. compared to 78% of white male students. joining me today are four very
distinguished individuals. who have individually beaten the odds and gone on to date a great deal of other work. each set a high standard for leadership, integrity and frontline engagement. each is deeply an personally invested in stemming and reversing this tie. professor sean harper raise your hand. director of university of pennsylvania graduate school education. it is tenured faculty member in the schools gender studies programs. he ask also the cofounder of the pen graduate school of education graduate prep academy. published nine books and more than 80 peer review journals. latest of which is racial and ethnic diversity in higher education in 2011. he serve as editor in chief on
the book series on race and racism in higher education. featured in 2007, on the cover of diverse issues in higher education, for his research on the national black male college aschee. study. the largest study of the kind. i will point out that he is a graduate of al albany state university and georgia in earned ph.d. in higher education from indiana university. and a principal, in demand speaker and author of motivating black males to achieve and school and life served for more than twenty years as highly rated urban public school educator in new jersey. to say he is on fire to help educator, parents, and youth across the nation achieve success, is gross understatement. as an elementary schoolteacher he was the teacher of year. as a middle and high school principal, he lead the
transformation of four different schools. including the might any knew around tech. which went from a low performing school in need of improvement to earn national recognition. u.s. news and world report recognize that three times is one of america's best high schools. earned a bs degree in management science in marketing from king university. and the ma degree in educational administration in new jersey city university. he is a recipient of over 100 educational awards including the very great national educator award in 2009 and new jersey education association award for excellence in 2011. author of the best selling book the hidden debate. the truth revealed about the battle of refirmtive action in south africa and the united
states. as president of the corporation a think tank that go ons solution to african probably globally. he's the director of the substitute acting director much urban issues substitute and associate professor of sociology at ethics county college. the hidden debate which helps us refocus on the underlying issues in variation educational and economic success was nominated for two national awards. the 09 vif award and the american sociological association distinguished book award. he is the coauthor of the book introduction of sociology understanding our social world. and importantly has embarked on a three-book series called african sociology. earned ph.d. and master's degree in sociology from the university of pennsylvania. as first generation college student, john michael lee, and i know he doesn't mind me saying
this. the son of a drug addicted mother, who was shuffled among family members did not attend college. he persevered to finish. dr. lee urn earned a bachelor of science degrees from florida a&m university. this is what florida a&m does better than anything you've been reading about in the news. this the best. masses of publish administration with concentration in planning and economic development from georgia state university and ph.d. in higher education administration from the sign hart school of education at nyu. today he is the policy director eat the college board and coauthor of the similarral research study, the educational experience of young min of color. a review of research, pathways, and progress. his work has included a variety of projects including evaluating theth cat sei of the psat and the sat and advanced placement
programs an developing policy research to supported a vot casey in government relations. partly joining the georgia department of economic development. welcome, gentleman. [applause] so now that in ten minutes we have demonstrated what african-american males can really do. let's begin this process. [applause] [cheering and applause] let me start with dr. lee. your 2012 report a critical post point for the african-american community, states that as of 2008, only 41.6% of 25 to 34-year-olds in the united states had obtained an associate degree or higher. more alarming only 30.3% of african-americans in 19.8 of
latinos age 25 to 34-year-old 0 containing associate degree or hirer. compared to 70.7% more asian-americans. even the latest issue would have tone for that black males historically at the bottom of the social economic per mid are becoming the education untouchables. beginning with descr. lee, for all of you in your estimate, what has most fueled the rapid, some say is a teamic client of the black male. why haven't we gotten a handled on the crisis? >> i think we look to several different areas. one thing we looked as as far as pathways. in the study i did for [inaudible] we looked at what happened with young males once they graduate from high schools. we're not talking about those who drop out of college and
those who don't make it. but we're talking about those who have actually get to the point where they graduate. and what we found for those students nearly 50% either end up in incarceration, unemployment, or they either die young. and so what we're saying young men in the three categories that are the most detrimental to the communities. you start to see that effect is going to have a very negative effect as far as a payment overall in the community. >> other responses? >>. >> one of the things i further want to say thank you to the harlem book festival for inviting us here. it's a great opportunity for us to do powerful things. to think about how we heal and build our community and change the world in which we live. so i would think that when we talk about education and we think about the ways in which this changing agenda is setting
upon us, we have to really go back and look at some of the fundamental things even i would suggest we relook at segregation and the schools that were independent schools for during time of segregation and how those educational institutions educated kids in comparison to how they're educated today. what were some of the different pull and push things that helped kids to stay focused and grounded during education that type of educational environment? and how today is it they're not grounded in the same way? what is it that those teachers or that environment created that created something that enabled those young folks to achieve in the face of something they couldn't achieve. and i think that once we see that the power is within them the young folks to achieve, and we help them to understand that they have that power embedded within them. then they begin to believe in
themselves. they begin to see that success is possible. because i think a lot of times they think that they -- that success is not possible because they don't see success around them. our communities are not integrated today with african-americans who are successful and nose who are not successful. so they don't have all the examples in front of them that i think that those young folks had during segregation where you might have the doctor living next door. you might have the maintenance person living down the street. and you had someone over here who was a lawyer and everything was right there in front of you. and so we need to figure how do we create an environment that has those types of things that motivate those folks to skees? >> good afternoon, everybody. also it's a great opportunity to be with you today and have the conversation, which is critically important. i agree everything he said
relative to segregation and what imnated from that. i want to say in terms of con temporary -- times we're not having a real conversation in earnest about black males particularly as it related education to. if we don't have the courage, if we don't have the awe disto have the conversation within the school district, within the school how do we begin to solve the problem? so as a principal, it was important that i engage staff in the discussion that we have the conversation because there's so many of us that do this that don't realize this is a problem. we don't identify it as a problem, have the conversation and then be in a position to offer solutions within a within a school district how we inspire males to want to strive to maximize their potential. we're continuing to see what we saw with the data. with the graduation rate across the country. >> for sure. the data that has been sited
here paints a portrait of a complex problem. that it's not easily explained by or can be narrow attributed to a small set of factors. it is extremely complex. i will argue here that part of the reason why we continue to see such enormous disparities and education and other domains is that there's this pervasive narrative about who black men are, that follows them from elementary school all the way to adulthood, right? that -- [inaudible] black men. it surprise me not to be frank that we see these kinds of issues when all black men hear about themselves particularly young black men are these doom and gloom statistics, bad news about themselves, and so on. who aspires to low expectations?
right? so if there is narrative out there that young black men going internal lose because it's all they hear. they are not the only recipients of the message president media, also consumed these messages. teachers consume these messages and therefore articulate and behave in ways that continually reinforce low expectations for black male students in school. >> and continuing with you, doctor, your landmarked 2012 national black male college achievement study, in that study, you say that among the complimented mix of factors necessary to engender college success, and that's where we want to going move the conversation. how do we create success? you say these factors are having at least one k-12 teacher who took a personal interest in their academic and personal future. that tells us that for a significant number of
african-american male there's not been that one -- am i reading you correctly? having adequate financial support to pay for college, and i'll point that even the middle class families do inadequate preparation in that regard. making a transition to college in which high expectations were set for them by influential black male junior and senior at the school. these are some pretty tall aims for even too many of your young men. how do we bridge the gap in not even one elementary teacher is going to the job for most of our men. >> sure. i really appreciate the question, and the way that i have thought about that, is oftentimes the -- [inaudible] is fixed the black male student. right? without taking very serious and critical look at structures that
physically reproduce inequities and underpreparedness for college and failing schools and so on. i am not yet met a black parent, for example, who says i don't want my kids to be successful. right. but oftentimes, we point fingers at parents and families when we think about underpreparedness for college and so on. i think that it should outrage us, the conditions of the schools in which our students are disor portion nately represented. the preparation of our teachers should concern us. those who work with young black men and have low expectations for them and so on. so i just -- i find in conversations such as this we're looking for a silver bullet. that if we just could get the black dude to do this, he would be successful. but he still has to go back into a structure that is racist, a
structure which people are still behaving behaving in same ways. prld i would argue that we should shift the -- [inaudible] from the black male student to the station and industrially forces that undermight be his achievement in school and college. >> [applause] >> i would like to pick up with him i agree. there is a -- [inaudible] and what it is the change in structure. a lot of times a lot of structures keep keep staying there and being pervasive. we work on the same things. and i'll give you a great example. we taunt if that person has a caring teacher how it happens. well, the question is if you go to schools now, you'll find that a lot of teachers don't care. they have given up. as soon as nay see the black face, it's predetermined by the
teacher's action how they feel about their students as far as what effort you to put. you have to have visionary students and principals who change the teacher. and i think it's really sometimes make it harder than really it is. weather having conferences with the teachers -- who are not going to be black teachers. they're going to be white, hispanic a lot of different types. women for the most part as well. i think that's another aspect we have to understand. how is black male behavior entrepreneur dated by female gender is another issue that is there. when you start to look at -- [inaudible] and you start to see a over 76% of those expulsion are african-american male you can start to see how that is going lead to the prison-type mind later. they're going to be disor portion natalie impacted. >> you mention the system i.t.
and so let's move in a slightly different direction. we hear the phrase over and over again education is the pulse that helped create a level playing field. and that level playing field is the promise of economic success, a pathway to the american dream built on the framework of this nation. so when it hidden debate, doctor, you argue that the core definition of these ideals are very different between the communities much african and european origin. divergence between the two accountedded for myriad disparities in the african-american community. how do we shine the light on a more meaningful debate? how do we take it off what's wrong on the african-american male and focus on what we believe we know to be the core sense of issues that are confronting us? >> i would say that one of the first things we have to do is real that we have to define
success for ourselves. we have to stop using other people's definition of what success is. other people's definition of what equal, justice, and liberty are. the voice talked about this when slavely was over, he said that folksere recently free quote, unquote, at end of slavely thought they were free. they thought about that freedom included justice and equality. when they encountered what they thought was freedom it didn't include justice and equality. with we have to begin to look at things hole listically. i think the conversation about a silver bullet, there's no -- never a silver bullet. we have to do whatever we want to holisticically. we have to look at culturallily, all of those components have to be involved. look at the diets how do we
impact us in our community. all of those things are key to transform what we see as success. once we have dictate what success is for us. then we have an opportunity to actually achieve something that is different than what someone else says success is. that's the piece he's talking about with regard to changing the structure is a structure is our conception of what the structure is. other times the game is changed. you think you get success and all of a sudden you got where somebody typical tells you and the rules change. you didn't define it. someone else defined something that you thought you were aspiring too as they what -- you achieve what they told you. we have to be in control of that. other piece i want to add is allture. i think that we have got to go back to an idea understanding and valuing african culture. african people need insert it
who we are it becomes the key for transformings education. there's bunch of research i have students doing looking the significance of for success of young males in african-american in the community when culture is a key variable. and there's a lot of research that is popping up now talking about that is the key their success happens when they know who they are. when they understand they co. they demand word means return to the source. if we understand the same we give back to where we came from and we succeed because we know we frame greatness. [applause] >> right. [applause] i want to pick up on that last very profound point about the importance of young black men knowing who they are. right. i want to revisit an early your point they made about if only they see singular presentation
and hear the singular narrative of who they are all about deficit, all about doom and gloom, then that shapes their aspirations. right. it's important for young black men to be exposed to men like the five that are on this panel. and men those who i know for sure are in black communities across the country. we rarely hear anything about the men. because they are narratives are overshadowed by the fascination with this supposed black male crisis in our country. >> let me venture back on that real quick. [laughter] that i think we have to realize that it's not just about the men on the panel. it's my father. my father didn't have a college education. but he was someone with integrity. right he was someone who made sure that i knew that i certain
things i had to do. it was my grandfather all these different people the elders in the community all these folks who come in and do things who are brothers and sisters, who are great examples. we need to see those examples and know that those sort are the things that help us to success. mothers who couldn't read taught their children the value of reading by holding a newspaper and not reading but looking like they're reading. it's not necessarily you have to be someone who has degree. it's an understanding you have an responsibility. it's the unking that possibility is about us coming in and knowing that we do have great people in the community. it's not the system is failing. we have followed the systems of white sprem sei and oppression and those things collectively. we begin to do some of the things that detrimental to i. they have to be self-critical as well are of the system and large
and realize it's a holistic piece. both are key to the success. >> in addition to the, i say there's a question that end of the day our young men ladies as well they have to be able to answer. that question is who am i see and see too many of us when we look into the mirror, we don't recognize who that is looking back at us beyond a name on the birth certificate. as an educator it was important for me by the time the kids are finished with the experience they would look into the mirror and realize there was more to me than the name. i have a story that goes beyond 1619, see as a consult assistant now, 1-year principal stepped away from it in 2011 to become a self-employed international consult assistant. i'm working with thousands of
teachers throughout the year. one of the things i find is that teachers, many. them, don't want to pate paint with a broad brush. many don't recognize the kids in the classroom. many don't recognize they have story that goes back again beyond 1619. as was said school was is starting at deficit and we scratch our head wondering what's wrong with black mealedded. i when i receive that question which is pretty much seven days a week. what's wrong my answer is the same. nothing. there's nothing wrong with where these young men. [applause] right. too many of us told hold up a my already an analyze ourself. when we begin to hold up the mirror and assess ourself and going make the necessary change begin to receive the necessary professional growth and development so that i'm in a
position to provide that youngster with a proper education an education he needs in order for him to be whatever that word success means. whatever it means we increase the probability he will be successful. there is no silver bullet. there's no silver bullet and magic button to press. it is a process but it is rooted, it is grounded and question who am i? i don't care how much math we offer. how much we invest in the best reform model in terms of writing with, reading and math. if that kid looks in the mirror and doesn't recognize the young man. all that is wrong. [applause] i want you to take a couple of steps further. you focus a lot on who are you? you have a couple of followup questions that i think are absolutely critical. what are you about?
and then here's the quicker for most of us. what is your most recent evidence of that? >> that's right. see. i say that and i'll say beyond the educator i'll say everybody in the this room. including myself. before the educator starts the day, particularly if you went to the principal of the school how to get it done. but before you start the day, you have to go to the anywhere roar. you can't -- mirror you can't go into the classroom or lead that school or district without going to the mirror, looking at person looking back at you and asking that person who are you? as it relates to the young men. and then closing your mouth, and waiting for an answer. see not who i am? because when we ask who i am. the eager will kick in and answer the question for us. but going to the mirror and asking the question who are you? and wait for a response.
let me give you an example being brief. when i ask that question in my mirror, who are you as it relates to these young men or students? i wait for a response and response is typically something like this. you are principal. principal whatever school i'm at at that time. principal north tech, you are not ordinary at what you do. you are extraordinary at what you do. why is that important that my reflection tells me that? how do i take young people and inspire them to strive to maximize their potential but leadership sees less than extraordinary in his mirror? see as the classroom teacher how do i produce honor roll students and i i don't care neighborhood but that reflection said you're okay you're arch. okay and average is going to get okay and average results. but when one gets conformation
of the extraordinary accomplishment, we increase the probability for extraordinary results. and then secondly, what are you about? a question of purpose. we have to be rooted and grounded in purpose. when we're rooted and grounded in the purpose, can't nobody push us off to the side. we're rooted. if the purpose is black men are going to achieve excellence. black boys are going go to eye have a league schools. black men are going to do whatever they set their sites on doing. if that's my purpose, it's going happen. then the last question is what your most recent evidence? that's the one that determines if the answer that questions one and two are really real. that question is like what janet jackson said what have you done for me lately? what did you do yesterday who validated who that reflection said you are. if i can't come up with
something that means the day was an waste of time. it's attitude transformation. there's nothing wrong with the boys. we have to look at what we're doing. we have to make sure we're on the right path for the youngsters to be successful. [applause] let me add one comment. i think that when we look at that the point he raises it's a great point about looking in the mirror. is that when we look in the my already also we have to realize it's not us looking back at ourself. it's our ancestor looking at us asking you what are you doing? if you want to join the table of the ancestor it's not just about what you think something is going to come and give you some revelation. it's about what you do on a daily basis. what are you doing different than today. derrick bale wrote a bock called ethical ambition. he said powerful, how do i achieve success while
maintaining my integrity. how do i achieve success while maintaining my integrity. that's important sometimes we goat point of thinking when we get to success and then because we see money or it fame or something else. that our sense of integrity disappears and it can become like it was saying earlier less important how you as a teacher is doing with the kids because now you get your 70,000 or 80,000 you get a salary so you have less value about concerning what's going on with the students. but if you understand that when you look in the mirror that's a whole bunch of hides -- eyes on you begin to understand what you do every day has to be questioned. that you have to look at what you do every day from the perspective of transforming the world and derrick bale said we have to think about we have to have passion, courage, willing to take risk and we have to be
humble. if we look at those things it takes us back. true justice rights and harmonious balance. back to the ancient committee egyptian idea how we do what we do. it becomes the key. we need to look at them. when i sit example for the student and my children or whenever i am, i have raze i that see me when i don't think they see me transfer -- therefore i have to maintain that integrity all the way through. >> i'm sorry. one quick thing. [applause] >> i got to say this young thing. i should have sat on the other side. we like to box around. >> here we go. >> august 28th, 2006, i'm standing on the bridge by myself. and i'm standing there for an solid hour, praying, meditating
we flecting on myself relative to these young people. right. and then those three questions dr. browne talked about. who am i? what are you about? what is your most recent evidence. those are where the questions came from as what he said. ancestors, i know you understand this they started speaking to me as i'm standing on the bridge and see they said principal, who are you? you know qhapped on this bridge. are you saying that you can't take a mind and transform it and comparisons to what happened on this bridge on march 1965? are you serious? with that i went back to the school. one of my colleagues standing right in here and took a mirror and gave it to every employee in the building. based on the experience, because i understood who was talking to me. as a consult ant i have to teach
the story in addition to a whole lot of other things to educators. because the average educated they come across whether i say come across, i mean, thousand of them. not recognize the photograph of that bridge. so i say to the educator, how do you talk about president obama? and your children do not know the bridge? you can't talk obama if you don't talk the bridge. because without that march, chances are that you and i wouldn't know he was even born. because of the struggles that took place on the march because of the struggles that happened prior to that march we know. we know that man was born and we know why he's in the white house. that's a story that those young men have to know. how do we keep the secret away from them? and expect them to be excellent? let them in on the secret. we have to let them in on the story. and they have to know about the ancestors and know those
ancestors are looking at them 24/7. >> quickly. i want to -- i guess for me, the question is a little bit more complex because i think -- doctor said, you can train a man's mind but not his heart. there's no correlation between those two. and i start to think about people that i call the better blacks. and -- uh-uh. and for me this is really important because, you know, no matter how far i go. i'm always grounded. i'm grounded by my experience. but a lot of people are not. and i wonder how we accomplish this in the world of better blacks. i say better blacks. my friend had a shirt that said i'm a better black. i'm better than the others because i'm educated. and i wonder how we do that when the paradigm shifted, because i
think that when you talk about segregation and even slavery, you go through the common experiences are not only was the african-american doctor and teacher and everyone in the same community. i think you get to the point where there was a collective. and that collective is diminished. and so now we -- some of us have become americanized. and americanization is also selfishness and so when we think about it in that realm, how do you accomplish this when now we have don't have the collective? if we go back to african roots. how do we accomplish this in this sort of new paradigm? doctor, i i want to follow on that. we want to come back to you. here's how i sum up what ever part behalf you said. desegregation created separation
new a new form of appar tide in our country because if the quote, unquote, better blacks that became the opportunity to build a different community, not the same community, and that same process also lead to the direction of african-american. which was the third destruction of african-american economic communities the first two destructions were actually intentionally external destruction. for example the riots in atlanta. another place whites literally set out to destroy black businesses. this destruction was brought about by our response something we thought we call freedom. with that kind of structure set up, how do we go about the business of recreating community. let me add another piece. some people that leave the
issues that we're talk about african-american males are relatively new know mom that they grew up with hip-hop and that sort of thing. but the scholarship goes back much, much further than that. some of the scholarship goes back to the '60s an and '70s many started noticing knee mom non. i got to graduate school and looked around and discovered it was me and another brother and 15 sisters. because my first response was that's cool. [laughter] we we can make this work. then grow discerp and realize you have a problem. i want to take it back further than that. wb deboys the philadelphia negro that study if you go back and look at that same study, it is the exact same set of issuings that with deal with now in terms
of the african-american male absence in the economy, the lack of the african-american male pushing entry into the certain level of education, so we understand that it is we who have to act but it's been we who have had to act since the phenomena when the philadelphia negro came to interest ens. where are we? what do we do? how do we push ourself forward from here? i'm going let him take a crack. he's going say anything else he wants to say. if. >> i'll start there and work my way back. i got to say i'm troubled by the whole concept of better blacks. and frankly, i don't think that that is a place in this discussion. it is one of the most racist concepts concerning our people.
[applause] it is devicive, i don't believe there are better blacks, right. in my national black male college achievement study, those undergraduate men work extraordinary nay accomplished young men. if you look at résume and transcripts. some may have mislabeled them as the better black men at clark atlanta and 41 other institutions in study. the men themselves said i am not one of the better blacks. if fact, they refused such label. they said i'm not different from my brother, from my cousin, from other black men with whom i grew up. the only thing that differentiates us that i was lucky enough to get certain opportunities and certain people invested in ways they didn't invest in other black men in my schools. [applause] i just -- you know, i think it's really
dangerous to try to separate the good blacks from the others. right. [chanting] the other point i wanted to make. i wanted to go back to the powerful story that was told about the bridge and about going back and giving the teachers the mirrors. i really wish we could get more educator to do the kind of reflective question-asking of themselves. who am i? what am i about? where is the evidence of my supposed commitment to social justice and all kinds of other things teacher say they carry care about? i wish if we could get more educators to be reflective in those ways because a force of any work can concerned with student engagement in college. oftentimes the question is supposed in the following ways. why are black undergraduate men
so tragically disengaged. rarely do educators ask themselves the important question what have i done to engage these black men on my campus? i think that is an important reframing of the engagement question. >> i want you to respond. >> you don't -- [inaudible] [laughter] i'm pleased because eventually going to do a little tag team routine here. i think doctor and agree it's a devicive term. i'm not saying i believe that i'm a better black man. what i'm saying the phenomena still exists whether we want to term it or not. there are those who think they are better than other people. there are those who now go and say i don't want people to -- [inaudible] because it looks bad. [inaudible] looking a certain way it's going to make all black people, you
know, it's and going back to the self-hate of tiring to get away with who are. iom not saying i agree. i don't see myself any different than anybody i walk pass on the street. there are those -- [inaudible] there are people who feel that because they have gotten the college education, make six figtures now they see themselves as different. the reason i say that's a problem is what happened what happens when that person get into the classroom. what happens when that person is educating the young man who see on the corner who may have his pants down but has unlimited potential. how is that young man going to be viewed in the classroom? and those there questions because it's not just white to black. it's black to blacks as well.
and it's because they don't believe in the human potential that each of those young men and women have. and when you don't -- i'm a firm believer one of the things i hear and all of the things i hear is disbelief. if you don't believe that young man can be successfully won. but the difference is my my life were those teachers who believed in me whefn i didn't believe in myself nay saw something in me that was special that i didn't know was there. when you have someone that does that. when you have teacher that reaches out. when you have an administrate i had a principal who would go and sat and tell you you have doing whatever, you know, that you had do. he cared. that type of personal interaction that is needed. it's not, you know, i always say this. you can't reach a man's mind until you reach his heart. and if we don't give that teacher -- if you don't reach
that heart there's nothing you're going to be able to do with having them be successful later on. >> i think we have to be cautious here. because it sounds god to say there's no difference. there are differences. we all at different places and spaces in our lives and in our communities. you know, this concept of the better black it's not anything knew in terms of those ideas but that we are all come from certain places and that are experiencing are different. that creates a different reality. it's almost like if we take it too far it's loom like taking the idea of being color blind. people dell me that and i do a lot of work on race. people tell me color blind and the wall is the same color of the door. i said no. not exactly. i said you're not color blind. we have to be careful about the broad generation. the difference what we find is find the beauty and the solution in our deferences. that's one of the things i work on so much is bringing us
together as people of african descent whether from the island on content or south central america. i have to come together and realize our strength is in our difference and if we sign up those differences and the similarity people see both of them. both have a value. i want to thought about the solution. i have a couple. one in reference to the financial piece here. i think that one of the things that we're doing -- we started the african credit union. a way for us to begin to empower the community. we begin to own what's going on in our community. we begin to control the things going on in the community. that's why we work to brace that gap -- bridge the gap. i'm a vice president of the charter but also i know we have problems. we have to figure out the multiple solution for those. we have big argument in knew around about publish v charter for me we are a community school
everybody doesn't agree with it. if the community is involved and invested. we have the ability to control what's going on. we have to empowers to push those envelopes. the solution are in us. we have to come together collectively begin to push away our extreme differences that aren't so extreme. push away our egos, let our egos sit at door and come to the table and have a discussion. we have somebody who thinks they're a better black would be at table who doesn't see themselves at that so we can come together and transform the reality of the world we live if we say it's going to be these and those people. we have the separate discussion. we're not going to transform it on the global level. it's not a thing here. it is a global conversation. it's going on all around. antiviolence coalition is doing stuff with violence. there's so much in all violence. in the islands and continent.
it's a global thing. i have to think and act globally. [applause] focus for another moment on the big question. this is know we've been dealing with well over 100 years by documentation. we understand the global nature of it. how do we begin to attack it on the level and how does it connect with other efforts? how do we manage this process? >> like said on another panel not too long ago. my i thinking relative to why we're here today is all on microlevel. i can't -- [inaudible] i can't do it personally. so i'm going to dwell on those things which i can control so i say to a teacher, for example, to a teacher you can't control poverty. you have no control over that etch though you may use that as
an excuse as to why we're seeing what we're sighing. you you can't control that. but what you can control is what goes on in your classroom. so therefore because i feel you can control that, and if you're the principal if there are any any room. one thing you can control, if you can't control, you need to resign. one thing you can control is your school. right, if you can't control that. fine. they need to find someone who can. when say control don't mean about manning behavior. i'm talking about leading schools. in terms of the mike ceo and what i can control. what i do in terms of solution. i have got open up the thinking the classroom teacher. if i'm the teacher and i have nowhere with all on how to connect with those young men, then why do you expect those young men to be successful? why would we even think that if i'm in the classroom with the teacher with the majority of the
hours of being awaking during the day are in the school. and i'm with a teacher black, white, whatever doesn't matter. and that teacher doesn't know how to connect with me? that teacher doesn't understand me. that teacher doesn't appreciate me. that teacher doesn't respect me. that teacher doesn't know me. that teacher doesn't believe me. that teacher hasn't figure out the fact it i'm glap graping with issues what is the difference between a man and male. going in, and training folks teaching folks that which they didn't receive in professional -- undergrad school. i'm in a better position to be successful. i can't tell you the number of teachers who write me and say, i didn't learn this before. didn't know this before. i parked my car today on dr. john henry clark drive. whatever they call it. drive, streets whatever. as i looked assign with, i'm
saying i'm the man i am today because going to every lecture i could to new york city. my speft as an educator is rooted in that man. so it's no wonder perspective translates into so many. those young men being successful look the microlevel i can control. i don't care what the odds say about curriculum and we can't get proper curriculum in the closet. as you know i'm going stop. it's any favorite coat quote in the world. you know it. i know, do you. when carter g. woods when you criminal a man's thinking you don't have to worry about his action. you don't have to tell him stand here or yonder. he'll find the proper place.
-- [inaudible] that book is a part of my professional development. where it be with my staff or with the teachers i work with. folks have never heard of this. exposing them to information that they just haven't been exposed to, you'd be surprised what folks can do with information they had not known existed. i can't concept lose the information knob told me existed and take those young men and move them closer to point b. from a. >> absolutely. [applause] i'm going go to dr. harper next. before i let him get started. i want to tell you we're going have some time for q and a from you. there's a microphone over there. if you start moving in that direction, if you have questions for what i think is one of the most powerful panel on the subject you would ever witness,
then we goat dr. harper. >> thank you. i realize that our time is short. ly attempt to be brief here. terms of solution, in my black male student success in higher education report, i offered the best of what i learned from those undergraduate men on the 42 campuses and 20 different states around the country. i strongly encourage people to read it because those guys let me into their lives and really helped me to understand how they scefltly 1/2 combated their way through college. are offered in that report. i will also say that within the next two months the sensor for the study of rates and equity in education at university of pennsylvania is releasing 0 two reports that i think are useful on the topic. the first is a study that was
funded by lam that foundation. that enabled me and a team of graduate students to work with five colleges and universities including a community college, including a historical belie black university, and three others. and essentially these five institutions rolled up the sleeves in a serious way to do something about a vexing problem concerning black men educational outcomes on campus. that report will showcase and describe in detail what these five institutions did to take seriously action on these particular issues. and the other report that is coming out of the sensor in about two weeks actually, highlights our prep academy, which prepares black undergraduate men for careers in education research. now i want to ak knowledge we are here at the harlem book fair.
and i would argue that we need more black men writing books, doing research, and reshaping the narrative that it's told agent us. we need more black male voices at policy making table. and in other places where research and evidence isesused to make structure decisions regard the allocation of resource, the shapes of policy, and so on. those are two reports with actually, three reports that i would imagine will offer lots of solutions that will be helpful. >> thank you. now, we have -- looks like the women were quickest. [laughter] to the microphone. i'm going ask you to keep your questions as brief and pointed as possible. it you have a specific person you want to ask a question of, please do so. wonderful panel. thank you all for your insightful remarks. my question is about teachers.
and about really sort of responding to what you were saying. one of the things that came from that from me was actually having a value for teachers. and in a lot of debate, we hear a tax and we're either attacking students, attacking teacher, attacking the scoop can you talk about transforming the relationship with teachers and how we value teachers in relation to it being a more holistic item many. >> it was directed a the anybody specifically? [inaudible] >> let me -- okay. as a principal. a principal for 14 years that had never been grieved by a union ever. because i understood the importance of relationship. see i can't get a teacher to even want to be at work.
i can't get a teacher to be excited on sunday to monday is around the corner. if the principal is somebody who is beaten up and stepping on teachers. there are some people run around the cub making a living on attacking teachers. on the flip side, it's about forging relationship. it's about appreciation. it's about lifting up. it's about understanding that those are your folks on the frontline. now if i have folks in there who are not getting it done before i beat them up, quote, unquote, let me build them up. right. let me -- [applause] because something within that person at some point said i want to be a teacher. i want to do this. i think i'm the one for the job. and the job interview they said, i'm the one. they never talked about the -- [inaudible] which inhibits success. i'm saying i need help the person to find that. find that spark that inspired them to want to come into
education in the first place. the short answer is about forging relationship so that ultimately as a school community we see ourself as just that a school community and there by a family as opposed 0 the opposing forces and the chirp are the ones who lose out. .. teachers and principals, we all need to be introspective like that.
we need to think about what is it she's talking about that's the only way to get there. we have to say as a teacher in my really connecting with these young folks and hoping to educate with them? i think that sometimes when i think about folks that educate math at am i institution and others a lot of their students fail the question is 50% of the students failed because they just don't get it or am i doing something wrong? at some point we have to question what is that we are doing as educators whether you are in the administration side or the teaching side. and then as parents, what is it that we are doing that isn't helping my child to be successful? and all of us together have to work synergistic the. it has to be like a concert to make this successful so there is no one person feeling but if all of that collectively we have the possibility of succeeding.
we all focus on we have the possibility of succeeding that means we have to think about negotiating. and negotiation other is union contract or whenever we have to look at it differently. it is in a win its that we all have the way sometimes there are 40, 60 other times it's a.d. 20 and other times it is 20 eda. but in the course of the relationship we .50/50. we've to see a melodic dominant way of getting where we need to get to. >> next question. >> yes, thank you to the panel. my name is carol gregory coming and i worked in new york in the system. i have two questions. one is has anyone there had done any studies about the differences between the development and learning the female as a male in this country? i was at a teachers' college this fall the white woman did
was compare from birth bbs, white babies, black babies, compared females with the male all the way up and they said things like female children have more language all over the brain and studies and all that kind of thing so it is if a person has a stroke she recovers faster. that is my one question. have you done any studies or anything i can read, and the second is can we do something outside of control? and i ask that because i'm in a special program designed by black man he saw that our young men are coming from high school and flunking out right away to design the interim in the summer program was so successful they brought chaka, food, tokens.
it was wonderful. we had great success and the mom thing i know they were removed and we ended up with one student from tibet. i'm not against anyone from tibet but he wasn't for them so this is why i want to know can we design things outside? and my husband was a black studies copper and he used to do that. is that possible? >> arlan to give you one more tidily and then i'm going to shut up. the developmental psychology. >> i haven't. >> i would suggest that in terms of how do we -- the second part of your question primarily trying to get us to think about what was the last part? >> can we do something away from the controlled by white people?
>> i don't know necessarily that then is the answer but one of the things about defining our own reality. it's about making sure we can and we cannot. we are in the reality of the world we don't control most of the resources. i don't know if that gives us the solution necessarily that we want. we have some great examples, but those examples understanding where we live in oklahoma was a great example. all these different places we have those types of success, we have to understand the environment that we live and we have to push for that success regardless and create the buffers that anybody might work to destroy that which we worked on and i think if we work together and understand our relationship to brothers and sisters outside the united states once again just thinking about what he was saying about
the microfiche, i think i agree but when we don't work holistically and donley global level we set ourselves up for failure and we have to have that reach where we know we have brothers and sisters on the continent and, i'll lend you are going to advocate on our behalf and we are going to advocate on their behalf and that is the thing that will transform our reality. estimate that more quickly there are also some examples of things that are already working. so if you look at geoffrey canada to become a model for the nation, when you look at the eagle academy, and when you look at eagle academy had what they are doing in side of the system, you are able to find people that are able to make things work and sustained demo for a long period of time. >> hello everyone. thanks for the great panel. i am marguerite. i'm going to be a junior
college. and my question -- well, basically, similar to the woman before me. what can we do have a grassroots level? i feel like oftentimes we focus on the system and changing the system but this time i've had the great privilege of volunteering for the project the great national nonprofit that work with the poor communities and the focus on after-school development programs. so i am wondering what can each of us in this room do collectively because i think we can be empowered. there's power in numbers. something that can to my mind is each of us in this room mentor a child and invested in a young man or woman that i kind of wanted to know your thoughts on what grassroots what can we do -- >> right to passage program is great. my boys are in a program striving together equals progress. there's a program then you can check the amount that step to the future dhaka.org but we also look at other program models
that in terms of the grassroots level that allows us to really begin to figure out what is needed in that community. sometimes when folks want to come in to grassroots things what happens is that oftentimes is something outside and this is what you need. no, we need to do the surveys he is doing in the community and have community folks involved in them and then they can dictate themselves with the need. then you begin to transform those communities. >> i am not being combative here but i just think it is an important footnote about the right to passages programs. they tend to reinforce homophobia and particular forms of mass calamity that are not always simple set. so i think it's important if we are building something that sort of feels like the right to
passage experience to be sure that we are inclusive of the range of masculinity and sexuality then the diversity within our group. [applause] >> i don't argue against that but i'm just saying we look at the origins the right to passage and it's not just for males it's for women as well the right to passage systems come back from the origin as us. the helpless understand how to become a man or a wallen. so if we look back at the reason and the prime from their origin, then i think we take a different look at it. it's not about one section of the necessarily. it's more so about that we need a ground and an understanding of what it means to be responsible. what it means to have him of the teaching ethics from teaching right to passage teaches a lot more things than the one i'm
talking about in particular it teaches the young men in self-defense, urban self-defense a business and finance. the teach them lots of things so why don't want it to passe wide brim on what the right to passage are making it - because i think that if we go back to them that is the key. the right to passage. so what do you get there? right to passages the radio and i used to love the retial but you can't listen to it now. we have to think differently about what we see as right to passage. >> thank you petraeus too next question. >> i have a doctoral degree in biophysics. and i guess -- said the statistics the were quoted were interesting. however, i think that even though i am a statistician i do think statistics are kind of interesting in that they leave out a lot. they're very quantitative, not qualitative. but i guess the question i have
is i am troubled a little bit with this discussion. i think it's great that we do focus on black men and how we make black men successful. i think it would be interesting how would we talk about this in terms of black women. i feel we are talking about the systems, the education system, how we need to transform this so that black men are successful. the interesting thing is that statistics were not quoted for black women. but i would wonder if black women are in the same schools as black men. if black women are in the same homes as black men. if they are in the same neighborhoods as black men, i would be interested to hear your conversations were something that you could talk about in terms of if the statistics are not quoted by black women and if the assumption is that they are
better for black women, can you talk about what's going on? because black women are exposed to racism. black women are exposed to sexism and so i would be interested if we could have this conversation about black men and women so that we have a successful community. >> i would start off answering the question in the report i used to have, i predicted the data and statistical black men and women and actually men and women by each race because i don't believe and leaving any out and i think what you find when you look at the data is by and large black women are doing better but not relatively when you're talking about other race and ethnic groups. i don't ever want to have this conversation in a sort of a zero sum game of putting black men against black women because it isn't either or. it's both. but there are things we can learn from it is happening in the experience of black women as it relates to black men for
example of the things we've seen over the incarceration statistics from 2000 to 2008 is it has gone down for black women. one of the things i joke with is black men go to jail so they determined that they don't want to do that, but i think there's something about their experience that's happening that's different for black women and black men and i can't necessarily answer exactly what that is without further research but if something is different about that experience. >> why would also want to point out that i think the first time it was extremely important about the problem with statistics. there is a book figure than blood and begins to show you an understanding of statisticians we have the ability to put whatever statistics out the we want to put out. so therefore, this means we can make it look this way or that way so we need to be careful about statistics and that is why i was talking about being introspective. when you read something don't
take the statistics make sure you look at the actual numbers as well as that is how we have confusion about a lot of data in the american society because people look at the percentages without looking at the numbers often times and the statistics someone presents to you without reading to them yourself with a more in-depth analysis. >> i think -- i don't think that the bottom cells are useful. it's the what and why. i think the research is just as important because it gets to that point of why and not just what and you want to be built to contextualize anything that you read and see said that you can determine if it is in fact true. >> i appreciated that you said that sometimes what does this particular statistic not tell us? for example one of the most popular statistics quoted a lot of black men in colleges that two-thirds drop out. that is a big problem.
but the flip side is that a third actually graduated but we never pursue insight from them. we never focus on trying to understand what was it that enabled the third to persist to the baccalaureate degree of hamid and so won despite the enormous challenges that we know to confront them along their educational half-price -- pathways. >> good afternoon. my name is eric gan also aware, as ecology 3e philosophy. i am more than blessed am honored to be here today and hear the discussion. but i am quite troubled for the simple fact what i see before me is the division of the people coming and what troubles me the most is when i think of the blood, sweat and tears of those
that have paved the way for us and buchwald said their purpose to a spirituel the of commonality that makes these things possible for us i am saddened to see i could walk through the streets of harlem to see the challenges my brothers and sisters are faced with and see a distinguished panel that never see them any other day of the week or any other discussions in the community at this level. so here today i sit and i hear this very interesting intellectual stimulating conversation. but then i see a lack of substance, and dignity and integrity to words solidarity. and to me that is an issue. so i just hope that we as brothers and sisters together
today to find our cause as a community, and i am praying that the answers for the question that i am proposing to use that will that ever happen? will i see brothers on the panel like this coming to parliament on wednesday night and walk the streets or go out there and gather some brothers and sit down and talk to them, teach them these things that you are saying that we are doing. estimate i just want to respond first because i live in harlem. [laughter] and i actually do that. i am a member. we actually mentor students not only from harlem but from brooklyn and all over the city. i don't believe in just doing this work because i didn't get a chance to ask for the solution question that if i had to answer it it's just that. it's not how you participate in
the program. it's not just how do you come out? i believe in living in my community and being a part of my community so it's how do you go out and mentor the young men and women that you see in your community and every day you don't have to join a program. there are young men and women you can ask the question to and talk to and you are right it's not just going to happen by if we do this grassroots organization and all those things it's going to happen when we are in the end of our communities and we start to be part of those communities. i live across the street on 125th. i'm right here. [applause] stat let me say a couple things here. let me be clear one of the reasons that we selected these particular panelists is because in each and every instance they are scholars and activists who've proven product in the outcome of these very issues in the communities in which they live. [applause]
>> or we wouldn't be up here. >> i want to be clear about that. i don't live in harlem. i can't because i'm the president of clark atlanta and university. [applause] so what we do all week long every week with our students and our faculty and our staff is we work in our communities all the time. we mentor young man. we are building the 100 on the campus for the purpose of organizing the parts of our efforts. all of our fraternities and sororities to this work. we have partnered with a number of schools and school systems and community agencies. we work with the hungry. we do all that kind of work and we are trying to build the community as we go. so i think that how want to end of this today, and i think i have to end this today is first to say thank you to our panelists. i am very very pleased.
[applause] >> we did gather the right scholars in this room today. and let me say to you as the president of clark atlanta university where the boys of all faculty twice one of the great joys of the work is the opportunity to gather with scholars like these and have these conversations and hopefully would cause us all to take action based on what we have come to know and understand. so i want to thank you for attending and hope that this has been beneficial and helpful to all of you. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> we will be right back with more from dhaka 2012 harlem book fair. up next the panel on the 2012 presidential election. [applause] hello everyone. can you hear me? a good. this is so exciting. this is my very first book and my very first and probably only book signing. this is so good. well, you know, let me just say
i am so proud of this product. the book american ground is everything i would have imagined. i wanted the book to be beautiful and i think that the pictures aren't absolutely beautiful. i could tell because when they picked it up, they're like your book. how neat. and they actually got pulled in by the pictures. then they couldn't put it down and they started looking through. then they started actually reading it and i got a thumbs up. so that is what we hope the book will be. the book is really not just the story of the white house garden and how it came to be and how we had our ups and downs and trials and tribulations, and it's also a story of community across the country. everything from a wonderful community garden and hawaii to some excellent school gardens that are happening in right
smacked of the middle of new york with some great school kids. so the story of the work people are doing across this country are an important part of the book as well. but we also talked about one of my key initiatives which is let's move and it's all about getting our kids healthy so the book shares that journey and some of the interesting statistics and work that is going on all across the country to help our kids lead healthier lives and then it's practical, too putative gives a few tips. i'm not the best gardiner in the world but i had a great team of national park service people, and i had my kids. they are my partners in crime in this respect. these two schools have been with us from the very beginning and that is one of the things that we said when we started exploring whether or not we could plant a garden on the south lawn. it would have to be a teaching gardiner would have to be a
garden kids could participate in and understand where their food comes from and engage in that process because that is what i learned in my own life is that when my aunt of my kids in the food that day and we didn't garden in chicago but we certainly meant to the farmers' markets and we got them involved and really changing their diets and owning that process that they accepted a lot more. and we've seen that with these kids. you know, these kids are working in the gardens in their own schools and they are bringing back ideas and questions to their own families helping to change the way they eat and do great things. so these kids have been amazing. and they've just been a pleasure. they come to the white house. they don't get starstruck. they don't look around. they get to work. they get to work and they get our garden planted and harvested in a matter of ten, 15 minutes, sometimes dirty minutes they just get it done so we couldn't do this without them.
and i'm so proud of you will. so proud of you all. thank you for helping me. [applause] thank you for helping me. so, i just want to thank you all for staying in the rain for coming out. i am just thrilled and i hope you'll enjoy the book and i hope it becomes the beginning of many conversations in your own homes and communities and i hope it leads to a generation of kids at some point also some good recipes, too never easy to follow and are pretty good. irg to try them. thank you so much and i look forward to seeing you all of here. all right. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> one >> do you need anything else? >> thank you. >> what's guilaume ladies? >> what are your names, ages? >> almost like maliya. estimate your age? what a greater you going into next year? >> you are a 11? are you interested in gardening so you are going to spread the words to kids about eating vegetables, right? >> thanks for coming to see me. >> [inaudible] >> you know the girls went to
>> we finished our divided political by t.j. and i have to my bed the latest book for the summer because i really do want to get this depression now, and i just received as a gift all i remember nothing. i like happy endings and she is good for happy endings so i want to finish that. and robert's new book i'm very excited about that because i've read several lbj articles and had a fascinating sort >> for more reformation on this and other summer reading lists, visit booktv.org.
[inaudible conversations] >> now or 2012 karlan book fair coverage continues. next a panel on the 2012 presidential election. >> i am so proud to be here today. my name is peniel joseph and i professor of history at tufts university and director of the center of study for democracy there. welcome to the decision 2012 great democracy and the new jim crow. we have a standing-room-only audience at the harlem book fair. as a native new yorker i am very proud to be here with this panel
of luminaries. i am going to do a brief introduction and i am going to set the stage for what is going to follow. we've got sonia sanchez. [applause] professor b8 is a national and international treasurer. she's a human rights activist, poet, civil rights activist, feminist, humanist, mother, teacher, daughter, and really one of the heroic figures of the post civil-rights and civil rights of black power era. her latest book is morning haiku and she has edited 44 african-american writers on the election of barack obama, 44th president of the united states. [applause]
next we have professor cornell west. [applause] with cornell as we all know is another national and international icon and in national treasure in his own right. he is a professor of civil rights activists philosopher, human rights activist who and really one of the boldest public intellectuals that we have in the united states today. he speaks truth to power even when when he speaks is unpopular he has the structure to be critical and against the grain even when it's hurt him and is standing in the black community. so cornell's latest book is the rich and the rest of us and we
are proud and happy to have him here today. [applause] next we have fred harris, who is professor of political science at columbia university where he directs the institute for research and african-american studies. [applause] professor harris's latest book is the price of the ticket, barack obama and the rise and decline of black politics and professor harris is one of the leading scholars of african-american politics in the united states today. [applause] last but not least, we have khalil gibran muhammad. [applause] who is the director of the schomburg center for research and black history and culture.
and he is also the author of a brilliant but a condemnation of blackness, race, crime and the making of modern urban america that places the issue of race and crime and a black criminality and mass incarceration in the proper historical context in the united states today. [applause] >> before i sit down i would like to talk about what we will be talking about this afternoon. decision 2012 race and democracy. i speak about race and democracy in my work often and sometimes people tell me how can you talk about race and democracy in the black radicalism? isn't that a contradiction? lcolm x famously called american democracy nothing more than american hypocrisy. martin luther king jr. spoke
truth to power to the day he died between 1965 to 1968 like his biographer said he literally becomes a pillar of fire talking against the vietnam war talking about political and economic inequality and talking about the triple threats of militarism, materialism and racism on the body politics. 44 years after martin luher king jr.'s death, those threats remain. we think that the new jim-crow on one level we think about michele alexander's best-selling book about mass incarceration and the african-american community. what i want to do today is extend that metaphor beyond just incarceration. we are going to dhaka but incarceration today but i want to expend that to public schools, to racial, political and economic inequality to the death of trayvon martin sheeran
harlem to the issues of police brutality to our foreign policy and the drone that checks against innocent globalist. i want to extend the metaphor of the new jim crow to the new tax on the voting rights for african-americans and minorities in places like florida and all over the united states. i want to extend that metaphor of the new jim crow to the political and public policy assault on poor black women that continues to this day. i want to extend that metaphor to the hip-hop generation and generations of young black men and women who we are writing off today as we speak as a nation because we do not care whether they can read, write, have food, suffering from malnutrition, whether they can be productive citizens in the 21st century so i want to have a conversation
that connects the metaphor of the new jim-crow to the decision that we face in 2012, and the reelection of barack obama or the election of mitt romney. what does that mean that we have from the civil rights to the barack obama era that african-american poverty has actually increased. what does it mean that the african-american incarceration since 1954 have exploded. what does it mean that the material circumstances for millions of black people are worse now than they were during the 1954 brown decision during the age of jim crow? the first person i would want to ask is brother cornell west because you've been very vocal in your criticism of the president of the united states even to the point where some people have accused you of being a traitor and some people have
said cornell brother west why are you speaking out of turn? the right wing attacking this man and remember the right wing is attacking president obama. they're saying that he party is attacking this man, the movement is attacking this man. i want to throw out a question to you that isn't about attacking president obama but placing his idea of the decision 2012 and reset democracy in its proper historical context what is the reelection of barack obama for issues of racial, political, economic inequality, issues of mass incarceration? issues of domestic racism, issues of police brutality, trayvon martin and also the international context. what does it mean? and if it doesn't mean a release of some of these ills we are suffering from, where can we go to get relief? >> you put a lot on the table. [laughter]
i want to thank dr. joseph for his leadership and i want to acknowledge my dear brother max robinson for 14 years not bringing us together and of course the leader of this institution professor herricks and the iconic sonya sanchez. let us never forget sylvia's restaurant i was at the tribute for curtis mayfield last night. 70 years he would be. [applause] born june 3rd, 1942 died december 26 and at the tribute, you could feel the love, the courage, the willingness to
sacrifice the music of the genius that dropped out of high school but let the world know that he came from a great people and tradition that said he was bowing to respect the people and of to tell the truth planning and that turning on the black keys on the piano. that is the tradition that i come from. that's the tradition i come from. so any time people say you're trashing the president with an trash in any system that treats human beings of humanity is not a firm bid if you are the head of that system the fundamental question is will you side with everyday people or side with the oligarchs on the top? i don't care what color they are. that is a moral question. that is a spiritual question and on a christian, too so why don't worry about folks saying things about me. i have another criteria by judge myself by. but when we look at the
reelection, i say that the system itself is so decrepit that this point that the oligarchs have dominated and there's a culture of deformity that all about money and the obsession of the even commandment that all shall not get caught. scandal after scandal we are seeing the recession of the culture and it doesn't begin in the hood, it begins on wall street. [applause] it begins in the corporate elite of the 1% that 135% of the wealth and get the top 83% of the income in the last year and a half and the rest of us wrestling with so the choice for me is on the one hand mitt romney would be a catastrophe, a capital c, catastrophe, reinforcing the oligarchy and the conformity and reinforcing the mendacity. but then i look at barack obama
and wrestled with a brother, 65 events i did for the brother. what we see the last three years suffering lady, poverty increasing, more decrepit school system, the privatizing of it. so i.c.e. mitt romney catastrophe the capitol see. obama so far for poor people, disaster. look at the present industrial complex, look at our poor children, look at working people. is disaster better than catastrophe? help yes. [laughter] because catastrophe means explicit crypto fascist possibilities. for barack obama neola will part of the system that is in the process of collapsing slowly so
he might constitute a break but then my look at the foreign policy and the national defence act and the tannin folks without trial and the u.s. citizens when i look he looks at every tuesday and he decides to to kill that sounds like disaster to me to. we are between the rock and a hard place. >> third-party possible that these. most importantly voting isn't the sole form of being active. we need organizing, mobilizing, and we would love to have a social movement if possible. >> that's great. i want to follow up with the political scientists about this. what are your thoughts? >> you put me between a rock and
a hard place to come after cornell west. but i'm going to try. the good doctor is absolutely right. african-americans are between a rock and a hard place. but the president, i've been critical of the president. i had rocks thrown at me recently that the president house for instance we should give him credit with a health care reform bill. i think that's very important. a fifth of african-americans are uninsured. but i also think cornell was going on that part of this is our fault, too because we haven't held the president's seat to the fire. there's been other constituents. we are a constituency in the democratic party so the question for me is not with a black president is doing for black folks. the question ought to be what is this democratic president doing
for the most loyal constituency of the democratic party. there is no other constituency in the country that gives 95% of its vote to one party so there been other constituencies in difficult positions of the gay and lesbian movement which is i would applaud it. it's great that they've gotten their issues on the table, and i should say that it also benefits african-americans gays and lesbians so we should acknowledge that, too. but also when it comes to issues around racial inequality, this administration i think has been missing in action and i want people to go back because i think there is some emmy show going on particularly about what happened when barack obama was down with black voters and hillary had him out and there was a march talking about social movements around the event. several weeks later at harvard university, barack obama gave one of the most progressive
criminal-justice reform talks proposals i've heard from any presidential candidate. what did he promise? he promised a federal level racial profiling wall. he promised loan forgiveness to the law students that could decide to become public defenders in order to level the playing field for people who can't afford lawyers. he said he would encourage the states to do away with the death penalty. what happens to that barack obama? part of the problem is i think as a community you talk about the right wing. we have been more protective of the president, then pressuring him into action like other constituencies. so in many ways, if there's a second term and i do hope there is a second term because it would be a disaster for the catastrophe we are going to -- this week and not going on, we can't criticize you. i'm under attack.
that bill will collapse after the second inauguration. and i hope that people hopefully -- on the other hand, she may also have to confront another republican dominated president and a very conservative senate. i have dreams about this or rather nightmares that the only thing i see that could come on the very progressive and is the second midterm when the american people get so fed up that unfortunately it's great to be only two years to turn this thing around and so, that is my best hope at the moment. [applause] but i am hearing is what fred said and cornell said in terms of the disappointment with the president is some of the black community got confused and confused barack obama with martin luther king. when we look -- and i said this before publicly. when we look at dr. king and lyndon johnson, dr. king as the
civil-rights champion and the hero of his generation. when we look at barack obama, barack obama is the president of the united states. when you ask most black people if they would get a picture of barack obama, they are looking at a civil rights activist when in fact barack obama is at martin luther king jr.. he is not frederick douglass, he is abraham lincoln, and i think that we have gotten that confused in the black community. >> i just said something i'm glad i wasn't miced. i said on a good day. you're absolutely right. i want to address this from an educational standpoint because i think that's what is often not accounted for in this back-and-forth as to whether we should support the president or we shouldn't support the president. i would like to say what would you tell a 12 year old about the
significance of his first presidency in light of the world that they live? in light of the experiences that many of those black and brown 12-year-olds have walking the streets to this city or a 12-year-old growing up in southern indiana having nothing but the generations? what would you say to them? because he does represent in the purest tradition of american exceptional was in a kind of black ratio. he didn't come from nothing. but he represents the in possible made possible. he is the leader of the free world representing western european traditions that have never happened before. a member of the minority party representing the nation's interest. so, we have heard a lot over the last few years about -- and i am going to natural lit down to the specific terms about no more
excuses for young black boys and young black girls who are underachieving now that the president, barack obama and michelle obama are in the white house, how could you not recognize how hard and how important it is to work hard to live up to those aspirations? i can see documentary after the gentry, special report after special report ask young people now that you see this first family in the white house will if you think about getting married one day? as if we are so pathological and dysfunctional that it would take the symbolism of a black family in the white house to even have the thought that one might actually decide to marry one day. [applause] as a side note marriage is a declining institution in the world. and yet we, that is, those over african-americans bear the burden of somehow representing the decline of marriage. in 1970 as many of you know, 30%
was the then crisis number for the female households, children born to single women. they produced the moynihan report and it continues to shape over the next 40 years of the policies around poverty in this country. the rate of white children born to single women at the time was about 3%. that number has grown tenfold in the past 40 years. it's now the crisis number that was the case for black folks 40 years ago. have you heard any reports about the crisis of the family into the pathology actually there is one. charles murray wrote it but there has been no continued conversation about it. so, for me, the presidency opposes the problem and the opportunity of pointing out the limits of black representation achievement that the real world doesn't turn simply on the word of a single individual, and particularly the presidency.
element they deserve, and a quality of life that should be govern -- guaranteed to them. [applause] >> i want you to -- [inaudible] lots of things, oarveg. it's an honor to be here. a place i discovered jean hudson many years ago. being from new york, went for a job, in fact i got a telegram, they don't do telegrams anymore do they? it said report to work at 9:00 a.m. i answered an ad in "the new york times" that said they needed a writer for the film. by golly, i sent a copy of my writing and cv and i got a telegram said report to work on monday. i showed up not at 9:00 because
i department want to do cp time. i showed up at 8:30 a.m. blue suit, heels, and hat and gloves. and i had the telegram. when the receptionist came in. i showed her the telegram. have you ever had people look at something and look at you and look at something and look at you and at something. i walked in and sat down at quarter to nine the guy came in. a head came around and another he said and said i'm sorry the job is taken. i said how can that be? i just got here. i used my new york humor. i said i got it. i was due at nine. i'll go back outside and wait fifteen minutes and the guy said lady, it's taken. i got it. discrimination i'm going to report to the urban league and the guy slugged his shoulders. i was so mad, you new yorkers
know i got on the number two train to go to the urban league office. i was mad the door closed and i ended up on the train that going to 110 the street. i got off the 125th cross the street a quarter a away that said shop boring library. i pick up my hat and gloves and i said to the man, what is this? please. and he said, it's called if? he said go in but sign in first. and i walked in and there was mrs. hod comp behind the glass door and there was scholars long tables just books stacked high. not looking up and i knocked on the glass door and i told the story. i said what is in? she said my dear, we have books here only by black people. and i said, it must not be many
in here. [laughter] she never ever let me forget that. every year i brought my students there. she said i have a story to tell about your professor. [laughter] and she told it every time. the story they i want to tell it that we deserve the presidents we get. we deserve the comem and women we get. we deserve everybody we get. the mayor, we deserve every bloody person we get because it's up to us. it is we who must decide. [applause] you know it. you know it. and you know that you know it. if we elect somebody to do it. how could we do it? it's an empire, people. come on. it's a wild word, look it up it's an empire and nothing changes unless we the people remember. we the people, they're talking
about us and we the people. we is the people. i know, i teach english. we is the people. you know and if we the people elect someone to sit back and said okay now you do. it's impossible. it's an impossibility to do it. you know it and i know it. you see. th's what i'm saying. we got what we deserve. you know, and let me take it a step further. we didn't want any radicals. most blacks aren't that radical today. most people are not radical today. you know, people still look -- [inaudible] doing the same thing sanchez? i said what is that? i said i've been teaching for 40 years. i taught your children and grandchildren. i taught them and i taught them, what did i teach them? what does it mean to be human? what does mean to be -- [inaudible] what does it mean to be a slave that we could go in the classroom and teach your
children how to be human. that's what we did. you know it and i know it. whenever but the point is simply we lean back on our eyes and shut our eyes and pretended we don't see. we see behind our eyes. we knew he was not radical. we knew coming out of chicago what kind of politics he was coming out of. we're not crazy. we come out of new york politics. and we knew that. we knew about him and middle class people. they're not working class people. they will invite me to the white house or him to the white house. they don't want to see us. when they see us they a history that goes back to martin, malcom, it does. it really does. you see, and that's real. and but we have -- [inaudible] it is indeed what we have said what have written that produced an obama. okay. , you know. [applause] and we needed to hold him to
it. we needed to him to hold him to the history and we have not done that. i was looking for -- if i can't find it now. it begins a piece they do talking about coming out of period, right. here it is. if you want to create a new body, then you must step out of the river of your own memory and see the world as if for the first time. that's what we got to do. you can't come in with the same old memories and say by golly i'm creating something new. i say no. you have the same. you are indeed thinking the same thoughts every day when you do that. and the part of all of this is to begin think new thoughts bhap we must do without children to make them a new way of look agent worlds. in other words one of the thing i do and we don't have time for that i do with children and, i mean, children, children and college children it's the whole
point. something negative comes comes in the idiot box, the television movies whatever. you have to children to recognize to say that is an negative image. ly not take it in. i will give it back to you. that's psychology. we haven't taught our children to do that. we haven't taught our adults to do that. o, did you see? no. it wasn't good. [laughter] because you ain't act like it's good. that's what i'm talking about. and then what i call substitution substitute a memory. a good thought. we must type our children to do that. that's what we talk about what it means to be human. we are on the right road and discussing this in a real sense. [applause] i want to talk about this issue
of democracy. and i want to open this up to the entire panel. >> you mean democracy in america what it should look like. >> i want to con tect lose it. the panel has written about democracy. i want to go back to dr. martin luther king, jr. i often do. in 1963 in birmingham alabama in prison king talking about the great well of democracy. and what dr. king meant by the great wealth of democracy. he said the young black teens and the ten and 8 and 9-year-old girls were being arrested in april and may children's cur said. he said they were bringing the nation back to the those great wealth of democracy and rededucted in a tradition he was accurate that one day people would recognize these young abused people as brings the nation back to the great wealth of democracy. you've written a book called
"democracy matter." sometimes my work has been criticized for talking about democracy. what i talk about is the small democracy of carmichael in alabama. and in jackson, mississippi and mississippi delta. the democracy i talk about is that i believe in is fannie lou haimer meant by small disple and ruralville mississippi making less than $2 a day. or eel will baker who was telling people that democracy was more than just a hamburger or sit in movement. i want to connect the idea of democracy we think that so often after 2008 election we thought it stopped with barack obama. i want to talk about democracy in the new age jim ceo. how -- [inaudible] that can actually create a peoples' movement. a social movement like we had the 1960s and '70s and 50s
that can lead to france formation. i'm interested in notion and grappling with notion of democracy. again, it's not the democracy that the united states projectings. it's a democracy that the black people have dragged this country into expanding with their blood. [inaudible] >> i would argue that the black freedom movement has been the grandest example of democratic struggle. by democratic struggle, i mean, with -- [inaudible] what dignity meant of every day people. if you really affirm the dignity of every day people, they're not going choose poverty. they're not going to choose poor housing or poor school systems or levels unemployment and under employment for 45 years. it's at that very deep level. you see, i think we have to be honest with ourselves and that is and all of those folks that you named. fannie lou, martin, malcom, we
can go on and on and on. >> that's right. >> their love of black people made them a threat to black people. see we don't like to deal with that. when martin was shot, 72% of americans disapproved. 75% of black people disapiewfed of martin. i was in buffalo a few weeks ago, 300 people showed up in a sift 1200 because black preacher mobilized against martin calling him a communism because he was the war because he loved vietnam babies. he was a threat to black people when he was shot. i wrote a song called "we live in the threat." he understands. in a deep sense, you see, when you really love a folk who have been taught to hate themselves, get ready for scars.
get ready for abuse keep your smile, keep your love, keep your witness, and die. then they'll celebrate you. because it's comfortable. because it's convenient. but when you really love folk, then it means so you to bare witness that doesn't put them down but is critical of them to know and say you have the potential to be a martin or curtis, or donny hathaway or eel ella baker. there are so many nameless ella baker out there or anonymous martins out there on the ground. in the end, what are we talking about? whether you love those folk, who are threatened by your love, you better be willing to die by the folk who contempt for you. part of our problem is, we black leaders who gave in e sell out and no longer want to die because they no longer have the
same kind of love. they want careers. they don't want calling. [applause] >> that's right. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. yet another big question. [laughter] democracy, yeah. i want to focus internally a bit as cornell did about our own institutions. and one of the most important freedom writing institutions in our community from slavery to reconstruction to modern civil rights movement and the post has been the church and the question is where is the black church at the home. there are theological tensions going on. the tensions between a gospel of prosper i -- and so we have haven't worked it out yet,
right. and we see scandal. talking about politicians in scandals. there have been big church scandals lately. and the quo is, about accountability can go wide and deep. not only our politicians people that we put into office or religious institutions and the question is are we holding those people accountability for what they're doing. and so, i think we need to focus, you know, black people are very talented. we can do lots of things at the same time. so that means that there are plult. things that need to be going on. we need social movements, internal accountability, we need the pressure, you know, from the president to the governor to our local officials to really respond to these issues. i mean, i was part of the silent martha went on father's day. and what i was struck by, it was organized by the naacp. i didn't see many or very little
church contentions there. right. it was sunday afternoon, you know, i know some of our minister too old long time, i wondered around 2*u where were the leading clergy issues. >> [inaudible conversations] >> right. right. right. okay. yeah. there are hundreds of churches here. hurnldz of churches here. i'm sure you can talk about who was missing doing the occupy wall street movement. >> [inaudible conversations] what i'm saying is there lots of needs within our community i think that the grassroots mobilization needs to be get back to the fundamentals about the basic of institution and building capacity building that can bring people, black youth and also to transport these skills and knowledge to a new generation or future generation. you know, one of the things about, you know, i read about civil rights movement, is the
importance of young people being a part of social change. learning from the old generations even though they challenged the older generation. >> that's a good thing! >> but this generation transfer of knowledge and i think -- and memory. memory is very important thing. and what another piece of this that i'm concerned about, i mentioned this in the book in the concluded chapter of my book "the price of ticket" is the attention between the new narrative about the national memory. which you talked about earlier about you know what you can be. right. that the time line is being shifted not from slavery to freedom to civil rights to post civil rights but before barack obama and after barack obama. right. and what that is going to mean for the telling of our history. or the memory the loss of memory
from one generation to the next. so i think there's a lot of at stake here. and so, you know, i'll leave it at that. >> thank you. >> yeah. >> that's actually a great transition. i believe -- and there are more and more people framing the this shall way. could we be -- [inaudible] or approaching a nadir that produces a necessity for the third reconstruction. the only way you can actually assess space and time, the only way you can figure out where you are in the world is to actually know something about the past. be able to measure and make relative judgments about progress. and when you wipe away two generations of history from young poem people -- [inaudible] published a report for those who haven't heard or read about it. september of 2011, issued a report that had many findings. two i'll mention.
one was that out of 50 states, 35 states required no curriculum educational requirements for teaching civil rights history. either no or very little. they graded them with these score of an f. the highest score was 70% in new york state fell into their category. we're talking about giving a who perform at 70. everybody at here is a professor or one kind or another. that's not acceptable. but what it tells you, it tells how important even the easiest of narratives about american's exceptionalism it could do this, it could respond to the cries of those small demands of every day people. by passing legislation a second time. to get it right. that's an easy narrative to teach. in the second finding, the out of 12,000 high school seniors,
they were asked the question, what is the brown v board decision, and why did it matter? only 2% could answer both parts of the question correctly. so it's not an accident that in two generations since the civil rights movement that -- it's not about education that the point. there's no education. and i'm not saying the big education, i'm talking about on history. on the level of culture and historical literacy that actually, and you see it in real time animates the work of the tea party. the tea party is -- they may have their facts, as i understand them wrong. they may misinterpret history, but they have been fired up by narrative that drn sit in the world and the world they want to be in. [applause] we are simply the walking dead.
when it comes to the world moving around us and not being able to latch on to something and say hey, something things are not as they appear. i'm not surprised that cornell was in "the matrix." because -- [laughter] right. outreach. because that absence of historical knowledge making possible the retreat even voting rights. i had a conversation today with someone that ask will do you think that the move against voter participation and the necessity for voter id cards and the new requirements is deliberate? [laughter] and i thought, are you deading -- are you kidding me? yes, dc distribute. more importantly and the most telling aspect. we've heard a lot of about felony disfranchisement. how it puts george bush in office because the number of votes that were not counted by x
fellows in state of florida who had regained the right vote for any number of reasons at polling places were not allowed to vote. i said to the person, did you know the felonies disfranchisement laws were written at the height of the emergence of egg gracious when the all-white primary was passed and the grandfather clauses were put in tax and poll tax and literacy tax. if you think it was racist then. if we could say it was a terrible time. it was racist time. thank god we have freedom today. thank god we were able to elect a president. the same law that were put on the books in 1980 are the same law of the state of alabama, florida ab and others are envoting today to keep people off the poll. if you didn't know that, if you didn't know that, you would be many black voters and latinos saying on talk raid radio.
why is that so bad? chris rock talks about black people having another way of talking. why shouldn't we have an voter? isn't that a rest of the world particularly in european country where we measure ourself in historical term against you get as many people to vote as possible. that's what democracy actually looks like. that's how you guarantee the populous is invested in the outcome and participating in civil society. so we actually have to be mindful of that path and make sure our kids respect that path and understand it so they can go into the future of saying, this doesn't look right. >> yeah. >> thank you. [applause] well i'm always a poet, you know. i woke up this morning with my eyes and i woke up this morning
with my eyes on [inaudible] eyes on cornell woke up with this morning with my eyes on frederick. going to lead, going to resist, going to teach just like that. i'd be on the panel there are good people up here, you know. i'm the only woman, if some of you picked that out. [applause] [cheering and applause] >> i'll tell you, -- were called but you were chosen. >> what are we going? one of the things they just -- and there is a bunch of stuff. we must create new ways of learning and struggles. we must challenge always and give ideas that sail home like a poem. give -- [inaudible] right of the first tongue, the right to discover and love other and tell our own stories.
[inaudible] awoman, awoman! give us a -- [inaudible] alice walker poem and story stretching against an ever changing sky with jus ease and intelligent effect of duty. we have organized students at love and trust and dedication. give us the student activists. [inaudible] who sailed into battle knowing their words of activism would change the world. remember a month ago when john stood up in the congress. when he said -- [inaudible] someone from georgia talking about trying to pass something and change something, and then john got up and he was john lewis again. he was not a congress person. i sat next to him in a place called atlanta. i walked in and said thank you thank you for being here this thank you for having that
history. thank you for your activism and say are you out of your mind? you will not change something you worked hard for. you have to understand that history. you know, we cannot go and study it. we can't go walking across the bridge, you know, and say i participated in this. no you didn't. you walked across a bridge. [laughter] [applause] make your own bloody bridges to walk across. walk across the bridges that -- [inaudible] at some point. you have to hear what i'm saying. we should have been all of us down there at wall street. that's a bridge we have to walk across and see and deal with, you know. we need very touch walk into the churches, i'm not being negative now. walk into the churches something up to gay people and let them you know what i mean? [applause] we need do what i did. when they said i give them the speech and people cheer and say
mom that was god. and the pastor got up berated the fact of lesbians and gays and what was happening to gay men the thing calls aids that was good whatever aside my children said, -- like let's get out of here. let's leave. and they brought me their stuff and i stood there. my ancestors were mat at me. you aren't getting out of here until you say something. you have to tune into your ancestors. you can't ignore the voices. you can't tell people about the voice. they're going put you away. [laughter] but they're all day working with the voicings ancestors. they are telling us what it is we must do. one of the things i said, after you finish that they got up and saying the most beautiful storm. i did this to him and we smiled.
i said as church got up and stamped their feet. wasn't that brilliant song? we have so happy to have brothers like that in which church. and then i said, let me tell you something, and i responded there. the people who stood up and clapped for me and didn't stamp their feet and clap for me when i said what i said. so you to hear that. what you're saying in the community, we would choose them which will applaud for. we choose the people applaud for. it if you come up with something we don't understand and like, right, you know, we we'll send you home without a clap or light clap of, you know, she's -- he's so political. she's going come up with that stuff, you know. that perhaps, you know, alarms us. it should alarm you. it should alarm you. what we must do, is that we are here, why are we here? why the bloody panels i've been watching all day long? why are you here?
why did you come up? you came out to hear people. you clap and say -- there was bad dude and sisters. what does that mean? what does translate in terms of your life? and what you are doing do? how does it translate on your job and in your church in your moisk whoever you go on the work place? how does translate in your home. >> you beat your wife. how does it translate? you beat your children still. how does it translate you raping your niece or nephew. how does it translate in your home all the good stuff you're doing and walk pass me and i know you're a pedophile. how does it work? it works and so you to hear what i'm saying. i say it with love and respect. what we are talking about now is ourselves. we are not talk about -- we in a state where we have. we brought ourselves to this
state. [applause] nobody did it to us. question it ourself. you know, i understand being -- [inaudible] what it means. i know, what region's policy did to and bush eels policy. we come out of tradition. the history being ensaved. and they did stuff to us and people escaped. harriet tubman helped out and got people free. yes. how do we use -- [inaudible] [applause] how do we allow ourselves to lose -- [inaudible] where we live where we grew up. you know, where, you know, here we are in the place so we have to do now is identify the shared room and freedom spaces we women and men and children grapple the fact that give us a new identity in the world. we have to organize the comes. you know how people say stuff
about us. i said it years ago i think you were there in a place called new orleans when i said simply we have to have a committee of engineering. that any time someone says something about any of us, right, whatever, the next day in the it "times" "l.a. times" "the washington post there would be a rebuttal. and we have is like, you know, concerns cynicism. concerned intellectuals. i don't care what name it is there. we have to do that. why? and the black newspaper and the latino newspapers said so you to run that ad for free whatever. go to the supermarket and my children don't want to two with me. they said you spend too long. i'm not shopping for food for two hours. people said how should i think about this? what should i do. how do i and a half gait my job and school is what do i do to
survive? and that's what i'm talking about. we really do have to understand that. and again, we have got initiate peace again in our homes. in our schools, and our churches and our synagogues and hearts and country in the world. a peace movement. go in the peace room, the peace room whatever, you know. i'm serious about that. you know why? you know, we should have taken a employment of silence for what happened yesterday. you know, at that movie house. someone said to me, what do you mean they shouldn't have been at movie place? what does it mean you can't go places you want to go in the so-called democracy and the so-called place called america. right but the point is that how in the world do you buy that kind of ammunition? that kind of gun. you know, who sells that? and, you know, why in this country are people allowed to go
in and buy weapons that will shoot through stone? and concrete, people? just think about that, you know. >> it's called a national rifle association. >> i know that! [applause] >> and we -- what do we say about that as a people. let me finish one minute. i know. okay. okay. okay. [applause] [laughter] [applause] >> if you have your time. >> yeah. let us initiate peace, you know, in our cities and states. i was in a place years ago before columbine happened and i gave talk a and ten students waited and came to me at 10:00 and speaking on a book tour and i'm begin to go tomorrow and get up late and go to california and sleep late. i have nothing to do the rest of the day and they said can you come to our school tomorrow? they said what time? can.
i said i'm going sleep late. they said because they were being bullied and called names. two of the friend were grey. i said pick me up at 7:30 in the morning. and they picked up in a car, my brothers and sisters it looked like it was held together with rubber bands. okay. but those students that organized an assembly, and i got up and said a couple of poems to get them in my corner. i read how dare you? one of the things i said at corner of each floor there should be a celt, a table, and a bench or chair with a bell that if you feel you're going hit somebody ring that bell or asking somebody to talk about it. if you think you're going to be beat up. rick that bell and have somebody sit and talk to you. we need one in the white house, in the congress, in your homes,
in your school, the churches. whoever because we need these peace sides now. and one of the things i'm doing in the place called philadelphia is that i'm doing a peace mural. and tony morrison, alice walker, maillot anglo, -- no. i haven't been in contact yet. all these people have -- [inaudible] peace about haiku about peace too. we are going have chairs along the way so people can contemplate peace. not war, peace. not killing, peace. because at the core of the business is all that money we spend in the place called iraq and office right, we could take this money and rebuild this place called america. you know it and i know it too.
[applause] >> all right i'm going to throw out one more question. we're going open it up to questions from the audience. we love to hear you speak, sister. no apologies. when we think about the next three years, i'll start with you professor west. the next three years in respective of who gets elected president, we're facing all these challenges but we're facing these historical milestones inspect 2013 tees 50th anniversary of bathrooming ham, alabama the march on speech by dr. king. assassination of med gar veafs. it is a radical speech king is talking about reparation. we have to struggle and go to jail together to get that belostled community multiracial democracy. in 2014 it's going to be the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act and mississippi freedom summer. the summer project where the
three civil righters were kill assassinated that year. it's the 50th of atlanta city and fannie lou and mississippi democratic party. it's the 50th of dr. king in saint august teen florida. the 50th of so many things. in 2015, of selma, voting rights act and the civil rights movement forced a president to say we shall overcome. remember hilary and barack obama had that battle. was lyndon johnson and mlk. barack obama said mlk given these milestone,s that emergency room cog dhash coming up. we see in the election opened up opportunities for all of us. especially those who write and agent and are active about issue. we see brother on television now
we see different people. whether we degree disagree 0 with the new black faces peopled needed negro face in higher place. they're calling you. people were professor -- [inaudible conversations] what does it mean? space opened up. space opened up. what does it mean for us the milestones whrorntd obama gets reelected. the civil rights milestones. they were talking about how miseducated or no education. the 50th ankers anniversary. is going to have talk about king and civil rights. what can bedo? what is the opportunity that is there for us. >> one i think barack obama is going to win. mitt romney is justice sense of -- [inaudible] he is going to win.
but for me, you know, it's the 41st anniversary of what's going on and raised a question. marvin gay raised the question. who really cares? you wouldn't have mark fannie, any of these folk. you wouldn't have sonia if they didn't care or love. didn't have power in their courage and for me, the fundamental thing we have to do is break the back of the new jim crow and let our young people know we care for you, we love you we're not going allow the police to and and frisk you. we have karl dickses here and l tell mely bailor from the black agenda report. one year ago -- anybody want to talk about -- [inaudible] every person is precious. when it comes to the chocolate
side of town -- [laughter] i got deep love. we have a lot of black folks who love everybody but black people. that's not a kind of love i'm talking about. i'm talk about the cross. that's everybody. it starts with the least of these. if with can break the back of the new jim crow and this is crucial because we know if white brothers and sisters were going to jail at the same level of intensity and black brothers and sisters there'd be a national emergency tomorrow. no doubt. and if black middle class brothers and sisters, some of our jack and jill brothers and sisters who i love deeply, if they were going to jail in the same level on the black were going to jail, we'll have different kind of black loip. we simply say i don't care what lass will teesha, we love you, we care for you, we're going to fight for you and that's contact exactly what we did.
a person got arrested here in harlem. we want young people no know we are old school and love you and care for you. we're going go to jail for you. we'll die for you. we'll tell the truth about your suffering and even though you name bad choices i know you are up against the system. billions of dollars at top. crumbs at bottom. fighting over the crumbs. coming in from the side. drugs coming in from outside. schools not wort a dime. families collapse because of unemployment and medication and addiction and giving up and selling out. we simply say, you come from a great people who cared. you come from a great people who loved. we go all always remember and resist in light of remembrance with the same love you heard sonya putting forward in a poetic way. much more eloquent than i can. love, love all the way down.
>> thank you. [applause] we're going keep it short so we can get questions from the audience. >> just briefly. i think those milestones you mention will be important. i don't think they're going to bring that much opportunity. as we have seen with the commemoration is that i mentioned a moment ago. you have a i are writes of our history. it's now about american tryoff over the racist past and so what gets wrapped up is a pulse racialism. >> is there a way to gatt that? >> yes, e to organize. i'm about memory. because memory is connected to communities and we're dependent on people who, you know, have been said the witnesses those people who bear witness and those people who have heard those who have beared witness and so again, it's getting to the generational importance of memory. i think one of the most pour
lessons i group up. i'm from atlanta gray. georgia i wasn't born in jim ceo i knew people who lived through it. it wasn't a great experience for them. but as we hear the narratives the good old days when back people together and the schools were all black and, you know, it was all wonderful. i heard different stories about that. i heard different stories. my great grandma who i knew she turned 00 i was a kid. and the first time i heard the word liferlging is from her. she was going through family photographs, and she came through at photograph and i asked what happened to, you know, my great, great grandfather. she shut down, she said, he was lynched. i'm an 8-year-old what is lynch? and that opened up all kind of possibilities of history and memory and what it meant and connecting those personal stories to a wider greater
history african-american experience. so when we talk about the commemoration, i think those stories need to be here. not what the white house said not what the people, you know, in power or even the african-american museum say. we need to put forth the people who have survived jim ceo to tell their story so we know what the sacrifices are being made and what we need to go forward. nibble history with a purpose teaspoon powerful. it is the ultimate protects of our humidity. it is the stories we tell. we had 0 stories long before we had statistical regressions. [laughter] if do you continue don't know what i mean. we live in a world at the time we think we know what we know because somebody put a number to
it. it gets in way of knowing what we should always have known before someone had to tell us something. we're human beings that we love, we socialize, and show compassion toward one another. that's how we got here. history has to be fist and foremost in the work we do with each other and with our young people. so shameless plug. it matters schoenberg center has been carrying the fight for 85 years. 86th year now. [applause] i can say with sincerity and awe then usty every single person on the panel has learned what they know and can speak the truth to power they speak because of something they found here and explored. so if you value, if you value history as a weapon of our humanitarian, then so you to support the institution that make history possible. that bring it to life.
so that's not the schoenberg, there are many institutions. support the memory and history that keep it alive. >> okay. [inaudible] we have a long line of questions. we only have about ten minutes left. can you state a question, please. no comment. thank you. >> no thanks. i just -- my name is -- [inaudible] and i just found "the social network" president issue. trying to develop a conversation like you're having today that conversation you're having today. i'm missing it at home and my family and church they're missing. it i know they're having the conversation i hear them. i need a networking of the conversation. my question is how do i graduated from -- graduated from harvard university and i need to have -- [applause] the students i was around at harvard we have phenomenal conversation. i need to know, i'm in new york
now. how do i develop more of a connection defeat these kinds of conversation and networking of these conversation. >> thank you. >> who wants to answer that? >> it's a wonderful system. give that brother a hug for me. i think the important thick for you to give your address on the internet so the people all around the world will be able to relate to you in that conversation. president issue responsibility -- president responsibility.com. >> next. >> [inaudible] there's a bunch of things i want to ask. in respect to what you the panel were discussing earlier about the reason we're here. in respect to the panel before. i would show what's going on in the educational system. what's gong prison industrial and the military complex. given the fact i see
perspectively we're seeing the country turn around, turn the back particularly on black and hispanic and asians as well give the fact i think i'm see what needs to be in the 1800st the panel where you had the -- [inaudible] that was object to put black anemia jail because corporation profit from it in the day. >> you say the question, please? >> yes, i'm posting that question to the panel. i like to hear them elaborate. it seems with the -- [inaudible] >> can you just say a short question. because i don't have time. >> i want to pose that. i want the panel to each to elaborate on it from their point of view. the objective they see for black people in the country. >> criminalization as was true after the end of slavery was primary instrument of racial domination. it was intended to control the bodies of black people for the purposes of extracting profit from them. and it took many, many forms but
the system itself always stood there as a throat, if you step out of line. that has become the newest form of controlling the population. it's different redundant, people, not about extracting labor of black people. we have private prison problem. the private prisons are still small enough in our collective economy not to be about making big profit out of the exploiting behind prison walls. it's about private cormings making money on wall street because they can sell the same services as private corporations that state agencies can't offer at the same prices. but the key difference here is that it's criminalization function today to disappear people who are not essential to the body policy. who are not essential to the democratic of neoliberalism. in the purpose it may have
changed. in the function, it is the same. >> thank you. [applause] >> question? good afternoon. my name is leslie author. two quick questions. is occupy wall street a social movement, and why didn't the black community embrace occupy wrote? >> thank you. social motion. not yet a social movement. social motion, social monumental and something beautiful called a social movement of people fighting again. if began social motion. i was there and it should have been more chocolate. >> okay. >> good afternoon my name is donald browne. first of all, as a nation of people, in america, the population of over 50 million. with an annual income of almost $1 trillion why asking anybody
forking in. i go to china town and use their culture as -- [inaudible] sister sonia said what happened to harlem. why are we asking anybody for anything? [applause] we stimdon't love ourselves. we have not come to that reality that we really black people said if in the '60s an people sang it and -- [inaudible] went on television and said a couple of things and made movies a and whatever. at the core in order to really say we must come together, because the most important thing that we must deal with at the time is economic power. the chinese in china town have economic power. others do too. you can't come out there by yourself. you have to come as a group. a group of people to do that and then we have to asome point
understand the importance of culture. we don't understand -- we really don't. we simply at some point were moved with the people that we enjoy. not with the people that sometimes makes think, makes angry, makes wonder about our own lives who we are. whatever. the point is simply it's got to be an economic structure here period. and it is placed called harlem, we politicians who sold us out. we can't get away it there it. it's happened. we watched it happen and we kept sending people back and back the same people who did the same thing to us. we have responsibility, we keep saying what people do to us. what do we do to ourself and how do we are we going reimagine ourself here in this 21st century? we haven't stopped think about that. we haven't had a sit-down at the schoenberg where we all come no tv, nothing and sit con and begin to talk about how are we
going reimagine ourself outside the classroom. outside being professors. outside being head of will this place. how can we reimagine ourself in the africans of place called america. almost of middle of the 21st century. how do we see ourself in the construct. we are not talking about our thinking about it. but how do we get this new gig, how do we get a new job? how can question bet on television. how do we make a movie or cd? how do we in the sense finish our disaration. what does it mean to our people what finish it or not if we're not bringing it to our people and explaining to them as economics person what happened to us and harlem and all the harlems of america? >> thank you. [applause] yes, sir. >> [inaudible] my name is carol. thank you. your words are important. one question is, how do we
cultivate an interest in history and her story? and i ask that because i teach [inaudible] my friem if i don't stand over a student and give a lot of quizzes they won't finish reading it [inaudible] women's voices too. same thing. my question is how do we cultivate an interest in our young people reading our stories, and personally writing a series of plays on the president's who own slaves. how do i -- thank you. >> thank you. >> this is last question. so i want everybody to just answer one minute. thank you. >> you are cultivating an interest. there's no immediate results. there's no immediate payoff. erin in this -- everyone in this room is more than likely because they were here were exposed to the same literature, to the same historical figures.
the same set of ideas. i was. and yet i was heading to wall street about twenty years ago. so you have to plant the seeds. if you don't plant the seeds, they will never grow. but so you to at the minimal plant the seed and nurture the seed. you have to water them. >> thank you. >> excuse me. we're going to take three questions. if you're going to ask the questions and panel list can answer whatever questions. up with of the last three. we have to ask three questions. >> go ahead. >> sure. [laughter] all right. my question is sonya sanchez. my question is to you have feel in many way are we in a position right now we are dislecting our responsibility and -- [inaudible] because in many wayses as black people we look at someone to serve but not -- [inaudible]
-- we got the question. thank you. >> next question. good afternoon my question for the panel is that in light of our discussion here today and enlightment that you brought to us. what would be the chances of a willing commitment from the panel or from some of your colleagues to come back to to meet here at shon burg and have the discussions. that's a great question. >> next question. last question. >> hi, good afternoon. [inaudible] i'm a graduate of harvard university and nyu law school. i have practice. my question is about the body of politics. really criticizing the president or criticizing elected leader is actually easy because they're one person. they're one of select people, you know, it does, by the way,
matter that barack obama does have nuclear black family. that matters. that's well. i'm 40. it matters for his wife michelle obama and his kids and how black relationships should be. my question, here's my question. my question is, i what should the body policy -- what should black people doing a opposed to what the you think they aren't doing. what should we do boing? >> thank you. one thing we should be doing is coming up with a clear agenda like other stwebts have these are the top things we think are important. this is what we want you to do. and not just from president also the congress, it mayors. governors, and it starts on the local state and national level. so a clear agenda.
that's something our community has gotten away from. >> quick response. we should repeal drug laws. we should end severe punishment such a mandatory minimum. they are clear action items. you ask people what you vote for from the smallest to the highest. what is the position. we should expensive -- $5 00,000 to go in and save people who are so angry that are willing to shoot each other over the slightest infrank sinatra. we should have. paid internship. do everything for free. if you adultses to give back to young people, they should paid because we live in capitalist world. would we reimagine that work as cooperative and spirit. in the meantime, next week you want to be involved pay somebody to help somebody else.
that will make a difference. the rhetoric about volunteerism is really a upper class elite paradigm. it is people who have the luxury because everything else is taking care of to give back. when you're working two jobs and trying to make ends meet and somebody looks at you and say are you mentors a child? it's a cheap solution to a excellencive problem. >> thank you. cornell? [applause] i'm trying to highlight the way in which the system under which he live is corrupt. it is dying. the money that is at the time. when i talk about breaking back of jim crow. that is something concrete because it means -- [inaudible] it means what? an assault ban on assault weapons. it means?
housing with quality. it means what? how come students can't get loans at the same level of interest group that wall street banks do which is 0. [applause] it means what? where is the money? when the military -- [inaudible] can spend $4 wl in a week but we gate program of $4 billion for three years and supposed to break dance over it. no, that's a poor priority. having is wrong. that's what, i mean, by concrete demands. i don't want people think it's a matter of criticizing the president. i don't care what color of the president is other than the fact that in symbolic ways i'm glad it is a beautiful black family. michelle obama is there with the children. that's symbolic. but he still signed bill that sending folks to jail without being detained without any trails. he has a killer list. he gave wall street $16 trillion
i guaranteed income you know, we need to have people who are poor now, people who don't have jobs, we need a guaranteed income for them. listen to that. she said i worked hard for my money i wont give a guaranteed income to someone that isn't working because the money that they put on the of war bring it home and give it to people. you have to make people feel good about themselves again. i guaranteed income means people would get money to live. stay home, take care of their children, moved as human beings. you can't deny that humanity. but above all we've got to become activists again. we can't sit back and say i experienced talk to the bridge 25 years later but now i have to cross that bridge all these bridges we are coming to at this point and these are distinct bridges, my brothers and sisters. we could become extinct as of
people in this hemisphere. i would not have said that in the 20th century, but i watch and i see how we let them privatize our schools and have a select group of people running things, a group of black folks running things they say. what we must do is activate public schools again. there's nothing wrong with public schools we just need to put people in their teaching them that care about what is going on but it's up to us. it's up to us as a people to say let us begin again to do the work. that is we are going to live, we are going to love and resist. most important word is resist. we are calling to resist. i will come once a week, once a month, twice a month, whatever, to have conversations about where are we, where are we going, and the other thing is even though barack obama didn't run, we should have a black
cabinet. it can be official and unofficial but if he does something wrong we will send him a letter telling him what he is doing wrong. we need a black cabinet people, yes. i've said it from the jury beginning and at the moment he was elected we need a black cabinet. come on all you people. say we is your black cabinet. [laughter] [applause] >> let's give a big round of applause. thank you very much. there's going to be a book signing >> thank you. please stay in your seats for the next panel please stay in your seats. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone and welcome to this chapter of the harlem book fair which is essentially the 150th year anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. our question today what passes for freedom the 150th year of freedom. thanks to the quarterly black review and the direction and genius of its founder max rodriguez and thanks for our panelists we will hear from shortly.
ibm christopher paul moore special assistant for the schomburg center. our talk today what passes for freedom begins with the notion that african-americans have long been ambivalent about the achievement of freedom. it is a notion that perhaps comes treacly from the american paradox of the kinship between slavery and freedom for 200 years. freedom seems sometimes to be elusive and the benefit of the privileged. is the elusive mix of freedom exclusively african-american experience? what is the distinction between emancipation and freedom? freedom of movement, migration, religion, and the freedom of expression are some points we will explore. as any freedom yet to be delivered and in the freedoms run amok that can amend the right to bear arms, stop and frisk. 12 people were killed in
colorado have the perpetrator then stop or frisked based on his symbol parents he wasn't a black or brown he wouldn't have been stuffed in new york city. should the idea of freedom be redefined to the 21st century reality? what passes for freedom the 150 years of a region of freedom gives a time span for freedom based upon president lincoln's signing of the an official proclamation on january 1st, 1863. and that very emancipation letter hand written by president abraham lincoln will be here at the schomburg center in september for a visit to 28 to september 21st to september 24th. you are all invited to attend. it is called the preliminary emancipation. it was sent to confederate states and union sleeper holders on september 22nd, 1862. it called for the end to the civil war.
within 100 days were the president or your slaves coming you're 4 million slate's will be free. that remarkable letter will be here at the center coming from the new york state library and museum along with dr. martin luther king's powerful comment on the 100th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation in 1963 and documents also will come from the national archives in washington, d.c. that will be year to mark important freedom anniversary. what passes for freedom? in the interest of historical literacy, let us note that according to our historians and scientists, freedom was brought forth upon this continent by a new people thousands of years ago. 12,000 years on our island of manhattan and for a longer time elsewhere upon this continent. the recent discovery of the universal connection to particles and mass may offer the best definition of the freedom
expressed by the first american who lived in connection with the sun, the moon, stars, rocks, plants, birds, water, wind and weather. 500 years ago more people arrived and the freedom of the first ancestors changed. in 1776, freedom changed again and again the declaration of independence for more than 3 million people who fought courageously to end the tyranny and slavery they said of a foreign leader, king george. fourscore and seven years our nation lived, evolves and divided fought nearly to its death before repairing or patching itself with a proclamation for the emancipation of 4 million more people. 150 years ago, president lincoln resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this
nation shall have a new birth of freedom. what passes for this new birth of freedom before we go to the panel i would like to offer a first comment from all turtle schaumburg the person whose name behind this phenomenal research collection in the new york public library. people typically called him dr. schaumburg though he didn't have an advanced academic degree. his heritage was after a latino and german. he was born in puerto ricans in 1874 just one year after slavery ended on the island. according to legend he was 10-years-old when his fifth grade teacher proclaimed black people had made no contribution to world culture or american civilization. that opinion was not acceptable or believable to arturo schomburg. we reported he dedicated his life to protecting documents worldwide. evidence of contributions of the african diaspora over a thousand
years. he emigrated to the u.s. as a teenager. some believe we have romanticized his commitment. i will offer now an account given by the fbi in 1920. the bureau was investigating marcus garvey, one of the african-americans most important leaders. and mr. schomburg was speaking on that sunday at liberty hall on 138 st in harlem april 1920, less than half -- 1920 was also midway in the jim crow era. jim crow was the national policy to destroy african american progress and the very reason for the universal windber association and the national association for the and fans and of colored people groups that reformed to eight african-american freedom during the horrific so free era of jim crow. this is how the bureau of investigation agent heard
mr. schomburg on the subject of freedom. quote, a man by the name of mr. arthur schomburg commended the universal negro improvement association of plummet's wonderful work and stated that he was quired to offer all he possessed, even his life if necessary for the success of this undertaking and for the progress of his race. again, he was glad to offer all he possessed, even his life if necessary for the progress of his race. what passes for freedom can take a lifetime, and by any means necessary. our first panel seeker on what passes for freedom, nell irvin painter is one of the leading historians who just happens to write great books. professor emeritus from princeton university she's the
author of several books including southern history across the color lines, creating black americans and the history of white people. welcome, dr. paynter. is there an aspect of freedom at which you think we should take a closer look? >> actually thank you. thank you. [applause] >> i would like to pick up on to that you didn't explicitly mention that before i do that i want to say that the ability to generalize about some 39, 40 million people so talking about black people a letter member that it's easier to look from outside of from outside individuals what black people are, what black people do.
it is a social, cultural way of defining people that can rest rather uneasily with the person who comes from within. so the person who comes from within is situated, is situated geographically, and a black americans have always been disparate initio graphic way. there's always been people in the south there is also always been people in new england and in the far west and in the far north. and personal experience is really closely related to where you live. how about whether you are a man or a woman or if you are gay or straight or intersects? you're sexual orientation and gender, all of those also influenced how you feel, how you think and how you move in the world from within.
and that can be quite different from the grand marquis' generalization about black people this or black people that or black people don't or white people do and so forth. what about class? people who were rich live differently from people who are poor. although traditionally, african-americans have been poor people we have not all been poor people and even those of us who are poor live poverty in different ways and those ways have to do with our families, with our upbringing of the youngest child or the oldest child. all of these are what makes you a person from within. so, let me put it on the table that i'm talking about in this sense that from without what gets put on you from outside. there are two freedoms that i want to talk about.
one is bodily freedom and integrity. the freedom from violence. i started my career as a historian working on the 19th century, working on migration of black southerners from mississippi and louisiana and texas and tennessee into kansas in 1879 right after the end of emancipation, and over and over and over again the documents that the people created said we are not safe. we are subject to violence. there are white writers and our neighborhoods who burn and pillage and rape and kill. so the whole question of bodily integrity, the freedom from violence, this has been a concern from the time of
indentured servitude slavery, and remember that slavery into servitude rests on a foundation of personal violence. the person who owns you and controls you can rule you because that person can hurt you so, freedom from personal violence has been a concern throughout african-american history. so that is the first thing i want to put on the table to talk about personal violence, about social violence, about racial violence, and how crucial -- what an enormous difference it would make in our personal lives and in our national lives if people who identified as black didn't feel subject to personal violence. that is the first thing. the other has to do with
stimulated. wouldn't it be nice to be free from stereotypes? negative stereotypes which makes it possible to see a criminal and a black young man or see a horrible black young woman. i am now paynter and so part of my education was studying the history of large. and if you look at the history of art separate from the history of black art, you see some very different dealings with the body one of the prime sources of subjects in long black art is new. and you very rarely see news and african-american art because of the stereotypes and the messages and the overlays and the
undertones. largely it has to do with sexuality. sometimes it has to do with violence. but the whole question of the weight of stereotypes, the weight of the negative stereotypes very much influenced what and how african-american artists work. so i'm going to stop on those two. a question about personal violence and the question about negative stereotypes and turn to my fellow panel. >> thank you. >> our next speaker, obery hendricks, jr. is a scholar at the university and religion politics and social policy in america. he's the contributing editor to the encyclopedia of politics and a commentator in the oxford bible and author of the universe bends towards justice, radical reflections on the bible from the church and about the politics, and the politics of jesus rediscovering the true
revolutionary nature of jesus teaching and how they have been corrupted. dr. hendrix. >> thank you. good to see everybody here. [applause] its my task to talk about freedom in the context of religion, and to speak about freedom of religion in the context of the emancipation proclamation, it seems to me a curious thing given that freedom of religion in america is enshrined in our constitution's of the very first amendment. so instead of the general theme, i am going to approach the topic from the vantage point of what churches have been or have not been, what they have done or have not done since the emancipation proclamation. the major focus the will be the black christian church which is the major locus of black religionocity in america.
but first, a word or two on light christianity. said the proclamation white christianity in general have become more civilized. that's to say free from racial hatred. it's very seldom almost never do the congregation's now leave sunday services well, no wonder to what congregation's leave sunday services for a fun afternoon of watching a black man, woman or child tortured to death at the church door now. a century and a half later most previously all white churches in the nominations are in varying degrees. and mostly white denominations like the episcopalians in the united church of christ are more progressively engaged in the struggles of civil rights and social justice than many black churches. even the southern baptist convention, which was formed in opposition to the emancipation of enslaved black bodies has
this year and elected a black pastor as its president. although this might not be as momentous as it seems because by most accounts numbered among those apocalyptic just leave it to jesus preachers preach internal heavily salvation while giving its short trips to engage in the structure of the social and political oppression that the block really needs salvatn front. despite the progress in some churches and denominations it still seems to be an undercurrent especially in many evangelical churches. and i'm talking about those questions christians who spit on their humanity of undocumented workers, calling them the legal and such as if they are somehow lower forms of life for children from a lesser god. and i am especially speaking of those white christians who seek every subterfuge and crackpot
conspiracy they can find as reasons not to accept the first black president as their beloved brother. [applause] but my main topic of discussion is the black church. and my question is this. after the needs of pitcher proclamation, how are black churches using their relative freedom to struggle against political, social and economic structures and policies that still today keep the very sheet of their flocks from fully having life and abundance in every earthly attention or to put in this secular term tikrit savitt fully in every aspect of the american dream? as my graduate school classmate reminds us in the unfortunately titled article the black church in that article he reminds us that there is not now and there has never been a monolithic
black church which is his main point. in other words, there is no one entity we call the black church rather there are black churches and this is an important point because there is a repeat of fiction that because some black churches and ministers have been active in the freedom struggle it can be said that the black church or all black churches have always been in the forefront of the freedom struggle. that simply isn't so. of course this was much more the case the never completely the case prior to the man's opinion proclamation and in the century of the various forms of legally enforced american apartheid. yet not even martin luther king never received the support of a free black preacher. he had not even perhaps the support of most black preachers. let it not be forgotten that the progressive national baptist convention was formed to support the civil rights leadership because the national baptist convention. but there are three dimensions in today's church though they
are not unique to the black church. we have the past to which is converting and nurturing of church congress gets and aspiring and teaching them sharing accumulated weakness. and we have the prophetic which takes up the mantle of the prophetic imperative to strive for ever greater freedom, fairness and equity by doing as biblical profits like mica and amos and isaf models and proclaimed that we must do it. that is the struggle against the structure of injustice and exclusion. so in his words, justice can roll down like water in the mighty stream. then we have the performance, which is just like it sounds. the entertaining performance of religion. the reduction of religion defined what seem to have krona to new heights and much too many black churches.
so let me suggest one answer to the question that i posed in this preliminary way which i hope will engender some discussions. first has for the role of nurturing and teaching, the black church has always done well in this role and in its post emancipation freedom of mobility which it generally contains to do as well except for the prosperity church which in my opinion would lead their people than to a selfish and individualistic obsession with materialism that jesus would have never counted. as for the prophetic dimension there is no question that they are not using their freedom well. most seem to have forgotten the cry of the biblical prophet to fight for justice. apparently most have also forgotten the words of their own savior that the spirit of the lord to preach a good news to the poor people and the liberation to the oppressed and i give him to harold changes
challenges to and changes in the structures and policies and distorted relationships that may people poor and keep them poor. black churches fare worse in their growing fascination and reliance upon the performance that dimension of church and as i call them. the reformists and entertainment on the part of acquired musicians and most egregiously on the part of creatures it reduces congregations to audiences that are a little concerned with prophetic justices reduces them into excited crowds clamoring for the next reform. as a 150 years after the emancipation proclamation how? i would say not well. while they revel in their freedom, they do little to protect or expand. i'm speaking generally now. or to make our society and our body of public. in some ways this is a freedom that in many black churches is
being squandered. thank you pure [applause] churchianity. thank you. african-american studies at columbia university where she has served as director of the institute for research and african-american studies. dr. griffin is the author who sets you flowing the african-american migration mary tariffs coming and if you can't be free, the a mystery in search of billie holiday. [applause] >> if i were to have a central ever attention to any progress but freedom, i think that it would be its elusiveness on its experience in fixing starts which has been the experience of
black people in america on their kind of ongoing quest for freedom speaking of freedom as a goal to think about freedom is a process is one that often gives birth to the efforts to counter the freedoms of freedom in some ways gives birth to on freedom, and what do i mean by that? i want to talk about a particular aspect in my own early work on migration on african-american migration as a practice of freedom. sweeting to the period of enslavement, black people running away fucus slaves running to the north we expect there to be all kinds of laws and rules to keep them from having a freedom movement so that there were bill laws that require black people who travel if they were enslaved to have passage from their masters and if they were free to have
papers. with emancipation proclamation with the coming of former emancipation, we have numbers of black people, hundreds and thousands of black people leaving the plantations wondering if largely just to experience of freedom movement but also in search of their families the lost through a kind of efforts. people were very family conscious looking for their families began almost immediately i think this is very interesting. almost immediately after the end of the civil war, we get the passage of black codes to replace the slave codes in places like mississippi. they basically sought to reestablish the slavery, conditions of slavery and sought to reestablish the white supremacy and and especially sought to curved that movement, that mobility, the vagrancy law. so if you are a wandering black person, if you are a black person who doesn't seem to belong somewhere, not only could
he be arrested because this is the real purpose it wasn't just to arrest you, you could be arrested and forced to work for free. you could be free and slave. so we get the reconstruction amendments that seek to challenge that and seek to change that. but it's every step of where black people try to practice their freedom because the institution of a vision and the legislation of law that seeks to curb that and i give us that history just to say that i think we should always look at that relationship between freedom and on freedom. we took of the great migration of black people. there are actually two waves of it coming from the south to the north. black people trying to leave conditions of the freedom, disenfranchisement, dispossession, jim crow, racial violence. racial violence is the reason that most black people gave for leading to protect their children from launching but not
just launching come from race central in the reasons they left putative and coming north from coming to harlem to schaumburg where they have greater mobility. they have greater freedom, but they also are segregated. they need residential segregation, they need restrictive covenants. their children in need of redlining. their grandchildren and their great grandchildren need stop and frisk. all of these because stop and frisk is part of a long history of efforts to curb black movement and lack mobility. disenfranchisement, it happens again and again and again. so i would suggest that we think about the elusiveness of freedom, the relationship between freedom and the efforts, the immediate efforts to curb it that they've always had a kind of give-and-take sort of sit and start to the struggles and the quest for freedom. so i will stop there. [applause] >> thank you, professor.
our next speaker, tanner colby. >> i don't use that term lightly. >> author of a biography of the late john belushi and the chris farley show a biography in three acts he is also the author of some of my best friends the strange story of integration in america. [applause] >> thank you. >> so, as you can probably tell from that introduction i come from a slightly different background than the rest of the panelists. i sat down i will cut about four years ago when we first elected a black president and realized here i was enthusiastic about having a black president and i didn't have any black friends. and so i felt i was awed and i decided to write a book about it because i figured if i come out pretty typical standard middle class american white guy i don't know any black people and we have had 40 years of school
buses and affirmative action and fair housing programs to supposedly bring us together if i don't know any black people them clearly something went wrong, we took a left turn somewhere. so i set out to sort of investigate the various areas of my life and to see why they were not integrated. looking at schools and churches and other ways obviously i was going to write about the work place and my first instinct was well i will write about publishing. i work in publishing now and then wouldn't hb if i turned the lens on my own the publisher and wrote about race at viking. so i went to my editor and i said within that be a great idea to talk to all the black editors and find out about life in this industry, and her answer editors. so i shifted my lines and look at advertising which is a place where i worked for many years
and there's a very segregated industry, and as i was at a moderate devotee of the industry was being sued by the naacp were threatened with a class-action lawsuit like the month after i felt that the great narrative took. it's very for -- very fortunate. the more i delved into the lawsuit they were suing the industry or one of the premises is it is an old boys' network. you know, it's all of these agencies are billed on social networks and if you don't come from the right family, the right society, the right background, you don't have your foot in the door. and so their press was all of these, you have all of these black people in the industry who have these credentials but the are not part of the same social networks of their for that qualifies the discrimination. but the fact is advertising is a relationship business. door social capital is your qualification of the jobs.
the lawyers were looking at it backwards. they were saying credential was what matters and we need to compensate for this lack of social capital if you don't have the social capital and the degree doesn't really mean as much. i can across this quote from martin luther king he said i may do when a desegregated society but i never know my total capacity until i live in an integrated society. i cannot be freed until i've had the opportunity to fulfill my total capacity by any artificial him hindrance or barrier and so i think that goes to ray -- what you're saying at the beginning what is the difference between emancipation and freedom and the emancipation, like desegregation was simply the removal of, you know, the great barrier. emancipation is okay, what do we do now. whereas freedom is what are we going to create. what constructive healthy environment are we going to
build in the absence of this oppressive system that we have tried to dismantle. and since the end of jim-crow how we tried, the debate about the estimated integrated society where the multi-cultural pluralistic society that's what i've tried to get in the advertising chapter and there are two gentlemen here today who were generous and giving the interviews for the book and their lives sort of embodied the parallel of the traces. one is down here in the second row who many people may know is the jackie robinson of the industry, the first black man to work at a white ad agency advertising for white people when the industry was totally segregated up to that point. and over here is another gentleman louis who, having
beaten his head against the wall for many years, trying to break the color line eventually succumbing you know, i'm not going to waste my time with that anymore and he left and started the oldest continuously operating ad agency of america. [applause] >> and in both cases, they basically proved dr. king right or what he said about relationships and integration which is that he found an opportunity by making the relationships across the cover line. mr. lewis and the attending the using the relationships in the community with black politicians, black entertainers. he did the advertising campaign for shaft, many of the early advertising campaigns for black mayors in urban cities and congressional races. but they both proved the point that it is all who you know. and so, ultimately that's why we
have to in theory build an integrated society in order to have total access to all the avenues of power and opportunity because most of the doors of opportunity in this country are as a white person standing in it in many ways and so the part of freedom that i look at is where do white people and black people have constructive relationships together for all of us to have freedom and not just the extent to which white racism is an obstacle that has to be removed, but what kind of constructive society do we have to build so that we all have access to the opportunity? because speaking personally, white people are free in this country in the sense that we have access to all the socio-economic opportunity but we are limited some way we feel there's a racial thing that we are not privy to. it's not our territory. we can't really go there so that is sort of a barrier that is on us and i found as we crossed that line in my own life, many
new opportunities have opened up for me because i am basically the only white guy there most of the time. [laughter] and then the opposite is true for many young black people coming up today in order to have access to the full brunt of society what kind of relationships to the need across the color line to get access to those areas which they've not been allowed to in the past. even though the legal barriers are technically down. so that is the aspect of freedom that i think should be looked at more. [applause] i think i want to ask just one more question of the panel and i think tener wants you to be the first to answer. and it is just over all in our discussion. we basically look at what things don't work, why things don't work and we have hit on the areas such as aspects such as violence and stereotypes and churchianity and prosperity
churches and restrictive covenants and discrimination. my question is one that you pose what are we going to make, how are we going to fix this? my question would be since you are represented by think your testimony is very important here how do we get more of the guys like you? i guess the question though might be what is your sense of what you have faced and confronted and what you have overcome and how big of a load is that for the rest of america? >> well, i think that there is for me all lighted over the past four years literally was read books and talk to people. that's a really the sort of magic recipe as far as i know from what i to overcome it didn't have any structural economic barriers standing in my way, but to me the answer of
what it takes for integration specifically is to educate yourself as a human being and reach out and engage with other human beings and learn about them as people. so integration is very difficult to do that, but to me it is very straightforward. it is a very simple thing to do. it wasn't as easy for me to walk into the naacp convention. i don't know anything and i am here to learn. that isn't an easy thing to do but it's right there and anyone can do at. sweating the most important thing that i did is not just talk about race, but just to get past that and be able to engage with people and learn about them as human beings and learn about their lives and experiences and that educated me and made me a more informed and hopefully better person. so, and every single instance what i found was it's interesting the reaction of my book has been either as the
relationships that it is bleak and hopeless or it is very inspiring and hopeful. i've got in both. and to me that is something of a test of the person that is reading it which is that in each chapter whether it is the church or the workplace or schools or housing the massive institutional barriers in the way of access to good schools and good neighborhoods so if you're the kind of person that sees race as an institutional problem than you are going to read this book and think my god how are we ever going to get out of this? but if you are the kind of person that sees race as more of a personal journey, coming to a greater understanding of other people and finding that freedom for yourselves if you look at the individual point of view your like wow any of this can change tomorrow and make this journey. so, i think for me the answer i tend to look things more from the personal point of view maybe that's because i never had the institutional barriers myself, but i think forming the
constructive relationships among people and having a social contract that we all adhere to voluntarily is more the answer which is scary in that it relies on individual human beings to do the right thing which can be terrifying sometimes. but it's hopeful in the sense that anyone can do it of their own volition tomorrow. estimate anyone else? >> yeah. well, tener hit on the two, the one most important which was education, just to learn something. read something, talk to somebody. that works wonders. but i would like to add to other phenomena. one, to be avoided as much as possible especially for children especially for black children which is popular culture. i read in the times recently that the longer that black
children spend in front of the television the worse they feel about themselves. this also works for girls of any race. so what's that, like 90% of the people in the world right there. so let's be really careful with popular culture. and the second thing, this is the positive thing is grand children. now it turns out that the youth are out there having children with a lot of different people come and a lot of people who never would have felt they could have a relationship with a person from the other side of the color line or the other class or the other region or something. their children do, and then they have grandchildren.
and grandchildren break down a lot of barriers. estimate around 1800 the was the great dread that this incorporation, this black and white getting together, there was really something that wasn't wanted as a part of the integration movement. >> it's interesting now in the facebook world you see people you haven't seen in two or three generations. >> grandchildren. >> i guess we are ready for some questions from the audience. islamic i just wanted to add to that i also think we have to really ask ourselves what we mean by freedom because not everybody needs the same thing. and we need to reinvigorate our relationship to the very word and the definition. for a long time the struggles of
black people were called up the black freedom struggle. we don't hear that as much anymore. we need to reinvigorate a social movement that this is something that we didn't fight for as individuals. we fought for it in movements and when we hear the word freedom now, it's coming from free organized people on the right who have recuperated that word for their own sense of what freedom means, that the passage of the health care bill is taking away their freedom. as a wedding we need to have more public conversation about what we mean. i think that we do need to change as individuals but we also need to reinvigorate the social movement and recuperate a legacy of a freedom struggle which we have owned and claimed and so it is time for us to reclaim it and real net. [applause] with regard to religion, you
know, religion can bring people together or it can tear them apart. i think it's very important to reorient with christianity, reorient churches away from all of the sensationalism and the height of spirituality and get back to the groundwork of the biblical message is coming and that is not only love your god with all of your heart and mind and strength but love your neighbor as yourself and to make a difference in the world, and i think that would help engender a great deal more of liberty and freedom and at least focus on it and i think also it's the right wing is willing to consider making that step, they will stop
supporting policies and actions that are anathema to their own issues and that is the black folks interest so it is a reorientation. really it is calling folks back to the root of their religion what it is and what it was before it was hijacked by tv and sensationalism of the folks that want to forget the purpose of the only measure of spirituality is how you treat people in the world, the kind of world that you create and not how many times or how not to call the name of jesus or god or whoever you worship. [applause] >> is that one of the challenges, the sense of one person's freedom just being another person's pain i'm thinking of the second amendment right to bear arms.
>> you know that's not enough freedom of mind in my opinion. folks talk about bearing arms. most of them that i have seen they are not really threatened. it's like a straw man of the black criminal in mind, and it's all opposition. we want to have our guns to protect ourselves from them because when you think about it is nonsensical to just make a bunch of fuss out having access to guns all the time. so i think that has nothing to do with -- it is very little to do with being oppositional to those they see as threatening to them primarily black people to this because every i just think if we are going to go forward we are going to actually connect with one another and we might have to acknowledge one person
second amendment would go to sleep for that in this whole sense of going to a movie and opening fire on a movie with considerably be the violence we talk about the perpetuation of violence in our films it's just like it will almost like a jerusalem experience for him. >> some of the people in the theater thought at first that it was a part of the movie or part of the advertising or talking at the movie. >> absolutely. okay. >> any questions from the panel on what we have spoken about today this evening? >> what is your sense of how it would work? are there any questions? >> yes, i think we are going to ask you to -- we need to go to the microphone.
the sense of the black power movement i think invigorated a lot of people, not just bought the bull but also was psychologically and organizationally important and i think that would be worth returning to as well. >> thank you. >> i am curious to no, since what i have kind of heard here is that freedom is contextual and also freedom is based on what one believes. in other words, there are some that say, they are free to commit violence. there are others that say they are free to be, to pray in the way that they wish to pray and there are others that feel that they are free to engage folks on
on a one-to-one basis. i am curious to know though, whether or not the panelists feel that freedom is in fact contextual and is it based on, on one's individual set of elites rather than you know, a larger construct? >> i would say, if i may start, that structures, political structures and economic structures really are the framework that we work with and as individuals. so, for me, it's not possible to think about either freedom or slavery for that at her, without the structures that make it possible. so when we think about desegregation and integration, we can't think about what happens with just individuals without thinking about the laws
and the lending policies and the banks and the fha and the redlining, you know, all the structures that one moves with them as an individual. so yes, for me, we need to remember that the individual -- but also the individual functions within certain structures. >> thank you. i think that is a very good question because we can approach freedom from different perspectives. there is negative freedom and positive freedom. there is freedom from and freedom to, and i think the basis of any justice system is first freedom from coercion and exploitation and mistreatment and the next step is to talk about the freedoms to do, what should be acceptable to a just
society but today it's a very important question because we have these libertarian right-wing who believe that they should have, there should be very little government oversight, maybe two or three different aspects of government and then they should be free to do whatever else they want as long as in their mind they are not causing anyone else a problem. that is diametrically opposed to other folks who say wait, we can just have an economic market their runs amok without any kind of controls and regulations. why? because it hurts the little people. so that question is very important and we have to come to a baseline of what freedom means but also what justice means in relationship. >> thank you. >> i think my question is quite similar. i wanted to know what is freedom to all of you? what is your definition and is
it obtainable especially when someone's freedom conflicts with someone else's? or examine like you mention, the freedoms to commit violence, obviously that -- on someone's freedom to live and be safe. >> i think that is one of the freedom from versus freedom to and i mean you can't live in a just society where people just have freedom to go out and commit violence. the freedom to just go out and kill people so we should all be free from violence. there are a series of questions that we can ask ourselves, what does a free society look like to us and that free society, it's not that i'm not interested in individual freedom but really what works for a society that functions and that is just? little girls and boys should be free from sexual abuse. they should be free from all kinds of violence. i think they should also be free from poverty. that should be a freedom, that should be a light -- a right. that should be a guarantee so i
think this balance of freedom from and freedom to and black when i look at migration and freedom from. so much is about freedom from, from people who feel like they have the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do to black people. i think there has to be a discussion about what that balance looks like. none of us i think up here should talk about we should be free to do whatever we want to do without any prohibition on that freedom. >> president franklin roosevelt 's speech, freedom of speech, freedom from fear and freedom from want is what i remember. freedom of speech. >> farah touched on something very important that this there must be, when we talk about freedom, we have to also talk about justice and that must be a baseline in the course and that
is how we come, come to a balance, a just balance, a balance in which people can live their lives, to have abundance or at least the opportunity for abundance. >> speaking of the historic past and leadership, sojourner truth, dr. king, justice, justice is the constant concern. >> but you don't hear that today. you don't hear the talk or could they keep talking about freedom. they never talk about democracy any more. they talk about freedom and capitalism but they never talk about what is the just thing to do. it's more like what is the justice thing to do rather than the just thing to do. [applause] in some ways it has become
christianity. >> its freedom. we talked about the context and structures that we have put in place and what are the parameters in which we have freedom from a jim crow society and now we sort of have two different structures in place. one has been aptly called the new jim crow by the school to prison pipeline and that is what the structure that the underclass is trapped in and then you also have this weird amorphous middle class structure that took me a while to get my head around, and i eventually starting calling it separate but optional. because, when he took down the laws of separate people, it is like emancipation. it's like what do we do now and unfortunately we have the great tragic misfortune of having richard nixon in office when all that happened. he basically was like okay, well, the black nationalist move
movement was on full swing and he sort of, nixon just wanted the domestic problems to go away so he could be a great band of history. he was like alright what is the quickest solution here? well, start a war on drugs and law and order and policy towards the underclass and put in place affirmative action plans in and minority business set aside. and don't do anything about enforcement powers to hud or the eoc and let everything sorted equilibrium where it is now. that is kind of where we have state because that is the incentive in the structures that were put in place in the years right after the end of jim crow. so we have stayed on the momentum and the inertia. it's just more comfortable and easier to stay where you are. >> whether it be in the church
or in the sale of guns for-profit, whether it be stereotypes, violence, the proper dispute is a link now that helps a lot of these onerous things to keep going. >> roosevelt's four freedoms. freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. >> that's great. >> hello, first of all i want to thank you for coming to the schomberg today in thank you for speaking to us all, first and foremost. we are talking today about freedom and for me you know freedom is one of those myths that america is built on but i think a lot of people confound and confuse the definition of freedom as freedom as the right to as justice and liberty to. how do you differentiate all those words and not mix them
together because i don't inc. they are anonymous and have the same meaning. a. >> situationally, yes. i also think that freedom, you know which is what i keep coming back to that freedom means different things at different times so when we were fighting against slavery, it was clear that freedom was the end of slavery, and then there was a reinstitution of slavery. there is a book called slavery by another name so we had to fight for freedom there. so i think it's a constant need for reevaluation and redefining. i'm from philadelphia and right now there's a fight with the aclu trying to fight these voter i.d. laws, 98-year-old black woman who -- obama with open arms and rightly slow -- so. that is yet another face of freedom that they thought they would want.
they thought they would want to fight against disenfranchisement and here comes another guys so situationally it requires a redefinition and a re-understanding of freedom. >> i think the word, it's like diversity. it's been so blandly overused in in so many contexts. it's almost like i think maybe in terms of a rebranding context, go back to justice. i think he's right. freedom just, you can put it in a political ad. those things change and come in and out of style. i think definitely in terms of race and integration is probably more productive to talk about justice and social mobility and inequality rather than just throw around the word freedom.
>> none of us has any chains on but even during slavery, not all the time did folks have changed but they were still in slave. >> it question for dr. hendrix. i read your book and it was very informative. talking about churchianity. i love that term. but how do we stop the economic engine behind it? so much money is generated through churches that misuse the word of god and gospel music that promotes the spectacular and promotes the craziness and the hyperspirituality. how do we stop that because a lot of money is being generated via this industry. how do we then redirect church back to the prophetic that we saw in spiritualism and early gospel music?
i am a musician and i'm very interested in doing that. how can we do that? >> one thing is to try to re-proclaim or redefine our call folks back to the basis of what they say they believe. jesus didn't say worship me and praise me. he said follow me. and what did he want folks to follow? his modeling of the ethical message, how to treat people in the world to the gospel of jesus. he talked almost nothing about what to believe that all about how people should act in the world and the ethical and moral teaching. we have to start talking about that again. and start raising questions in churches about the things that don't seem to really be
important. with that we have to ask ourselves a, when you become a minister d. become part of a privileged class? that kind of thing. you have to ask yourself, are we about trying to really grow spiritually or are we just engaged in the institutional maintenance as part of it club almost in which we come and have in at the goodtime? you have heard people come out saying, boy we sure had church. we sure had fun. is the same thing so it's a hard question that we have to start somewhere and i think looking at the basics, basics again is important. >> a quick follow up. how do we counter this because there a lot of people that make money by having a church being fun. i don't know, i mean i think again we just have to try to get back to basics and ask some
questions. there was a minister and you have all heard of him, who was in a whole lot of trouble and the questions have been asked of him long ago. maybe that might not have happened but the questions that have been asked, why are you looking like a king? why are you wearing tight clothing in front of everybody when you know that as a performance? why are you doing these things? but folks said they were being fed, which could mean a lot of things but it can also mean that they were really enjoying what they were getting and they didn't ask any questions. we need to get back to the basics. >> thank you. >> first of all i want to congratulate whoever it was -- because i think we have the core and what you all have been writing about in the beginning
of something new. they said that the age of aquarius is just now about to start. and that is a time when we can act in terms of our spiritual lives from the christ within each o of us and in terms of the need for relationship and individual responsibility. to change cannot happen in an institution unless you have fueling of that institution, individuals who see freedom as being their obligation to act from the best parts of who they are. that is the freedom to that i
think we in advertising and we in education have to engender. i have the good fortune of being at my advanced age and still having a -- 10-year-old children, twins. i got tired of waiting for grandchildren so i made my own. [laughter] so they go to a school in which a bad idea of inclusiveness, where we look at forced immigration or voluntary immigration. they interview people who have come to the country and they start establishing a wet -- was not able to do in this lifetime. the relationship that will make the difference. until we really get to know each
other from who we really are and in the spiritual sense, children of god and until we recognize that in ourselves and others and all acts from that, that is the freedom. that is the freedom that i think is the only real freedom that we can ever aspire to. and in redlining and all that other stuff, even the civil rights act accomplished nothing without that basis of each one of us seeing our relationship through the spiritual eyes of our oneness, not our separation. >> thank you. did you have a question?
[laughter] >> thank you very much. that was beautiful by the way. [applause] >> hi. as the mother of a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old, and someone who grew up with parents and they do no, black nationalist movement i was very connected to activism and i think there's a generation growing up now who, they are very disconnected from the spirit of actin is -- activism. in the framework of freedom, what kind of language -- how do we connect with a generation of 20-something teens now? how do we connect with them and really make them understand the importance of freedom fighting,
because i think now this generation, i mean, they really take a lot are granted. a lot of freedom for granted that they think they have that they don't actually have. how do we connect -- how do we make them see? what is the language? how do we reinvigorate that spirit of activism for children who may not have any connection to that legacy? >> that is a great question and it's an extraordinary question. >> that is because of your grandchildren. i do think though that, i just want to give a plug here for some organizations on the ground that work with young people i think you are doing just that, who are creating just that legacy of taking -- here at harlem there is a wonderful institution called the brotherhood of soul that works with -- some of you may know some of
them. not only speaks to empower children but it also makes them feel responsible for their community so teaches them out of the organizers. and it connects them to a legacy, not just a local legacy that is historical legacy through time and space where they are part of generations of people who up an activist but also empowering them to look at their community, not see it through the eyes of the people from the 60's but through their eyes and try to imagine it as they would like for it to be. that it empowers them where they are and tells them that they have the capacity to change things. so part of it i think, as much telling them what to do as to listen to what they think the to be changed and how they want the world to look. i think it's probably a small organization that we support all over the country that are doing that as well. >> most of that should be done in church.
[laughter] >> it think your question is the question of the decade and not the question of the century because we have seen -- we have met some of our communicators here, professional communicators and i don't think there and a are any finer, better communicators. these folks know how to communicate. how do we get them interested in history or the aspects of history that they can then communicate? they are the kings. i have been told specifically not that we are over but i got a notice two or three minutes ago that we are. unless someone comes out i want to thank you all for coming here today. for schomburg center. [applause] if you haven't heard my earlier announcement on september 21, 2012 we will have a proven maneri emancipation proclamation and it will come to the schomburg center.
the 22nd was the date that president abraham lincoln sent the notice out that unless you stop the war, stop the civil war in 100 days we are going to free 4 million enslaved africans so that will be here on september 21 through the 24th. thank you all for coming today. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> that wraps up of tvs coverage of the 2012 harlem book fair in new york city. to find out more visit